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Pet owners give up animals due to economic strain

Posted May 28, 2008

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— Tough economic times have led some families to give up their pets, leaving animals shelters in the Triangle at or over capacity.

The SPCA of Wake County is at capacity, as is the Animal Protection Society of Durham. Some animals are even being put two to a cage.

Simon Woodrup, of the Animal Protection Society of Durham, said the shelter took in 100 more pets in April than last year at the same time.

“The reality is, there are just more animals coming in than there are good homes for them out there,” Woodrup said.

The SPCA of Wake County’s intake of animals increased slightly this year from last. Adoptions are up 5 percent at the shelter.

Nikoe Anderson gave up her dog, Mia, when she downsized from a house to an apartment. With rising gas prices and the high cost of food and living, it became difficult to maintain a pet, she said.

“I cried from the time I arrived to the time I left. I cried in my car. I couldn’t even speak to the lady that was trying to help me,” Anderson said.

The SPCA of Wake County is helping Mia adjust.

“We do not stand in judgment. We do what we can for the animals. It’s a tough time for everybody,” Hope Hancock, SPCA of Wake County executive director, said.

“It’s more important that I have a place to live and my daughter has a place to live. … That gives me some peace of mind.” Anderson said.

SPCA officials said Mia is not immediately available for adoption, but they plan to work to find her a good home.

When people surrender a pet, they don’t have to give a reason. However, shelter officials say some common reasons for surrendering a pet include being evicted and not being able to afford a pet or downsizing to an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. One shelter reported an evicted couple dropping off their fish.


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  • Jugi May 29, 2008

    There are PLENTY of apartments out there that accept animals.

    Do people not realize that dropping your animal off at a shelter is, more likely than not, a death sentence?

  • Teacher9 May 29, 2008

    "moorecs...and when those people with the manicured nails, nice clothes, yapping on a cell phone go out and get it their car, it's usually a Lexus or a Cadillac."...wccmom


  • richard2 May 29, 2008

    pets are for life. if not don't get one.

  • Tired of your excuses May 29, 2008

    moorecs...and when those people with the manicured nails, nice clothes, yapping on a cell phone go out and get it their car, it's usually a Lexus or a Cadillac.

  • oldschooltarheel May 29, 2008

    glo - folks will stop dumping the critters when the guvmint starts "giving 'em a benefit" for keeping them, just like the kids. So pathetic how many folks get an animal or crank out a kid, or two, or more, without a single thought about how they intend to fend for their charges.
    Instead they KNOW that sumpin' will happen to "help out" or they jettison the critters.

    On top of that we are "supposed" to commend the people dropping off the animals (the ones they should have never acquired in the first place) because they are showing some modicum of responsibility by surrendering their chattel at a shelter? Come on, people. Enough with the "everyone gets to ride on the short bus" mentality. The economy is in a shambles because too many people did not control their spending & felt "entitled" to adopt "lifestyles" they did not have the resources to sustain for more than a couple of paychecks. Now the critters suffer. I do suspect that cable TV access & eating out isn't being sacrificed...

  • mom2threecld May 29, 2008

    my thought is, people make tima to do what they want and they will spend their money on what they want whether it is a staple or not. i have known people to eat 10 cent ramen noodles for 2 weeks a month so they can have every pay channel cable offers, cigs and beer. go figure

  • atmom May 29, 2008

    Ok people pet owners go sooo overboard! I am a pet owner to a wonderful boxer that I do consider part of my family. I love her, I care for her, and my family truely enjoys her! But, in all reality some people are not doing well right now. Times are tough. No one should judge these people who are having to give up their pet! I would do everything I could to keep my dog, but if it came down to it I would have to let her go. And as far as the spca, I do have a problem with how they run there shelter. First of all if I were to go to adopt a dog today it would be like adopting a child!!! That is stupid. They would want to come out to my house and make sure I was going to keep the dog inside at all times, make sure I had a fenced in yard and so on. So unfortunally many of these pets do die b/c they will not let someone adopt who would really take care of a pet and love the pet b/c their rules are tooooooo strict! And comparing giving up your pet to giving up your child is STUPID!

  • moorecs May 29, 2008

    "I bet these people who can't "afford" their pet anymore have cell phones and cable tv that they won't give up"....wcnc

    I agree. This makes me just as mad as standing in line at a grocery store behind someone paying with food stamps with a case or two of beer in their groceries, talking on a cell phone with manicured nails, a $300-400 jacket/outfit on and $100+ pair of shoes! Get your priorities right people. If you can afford all that you can get off welfare and stop munching off everyone else.

  • WF Zookeeper May 29, 2008

    Every comment so far has good and bad points. But - giving up a pet would be like cutting off my arm! Pets are a responsibility for life! Yes, the shelters are full and many will euthanize them because there isn't enough room. Yes - shelters are picky about who they adopt to - because they care about where the animals are going and hopefully will have a better life. Also - yes they charge! When pets come into a shelter they are normally given medical care, spayed or neutered, fed, given a place to live until adopted and none of this is free! So if you have a pet - love it and keep it! You took on that responsibility, uphold your commitment!!!!!!!

  • cynsless1 May 28, 2008

    I agree, this is very lame for you people. My dog means everything to me, give up that 6 pack or something!!!!!