Local News

Pet owners give up animals due to economic strain

Posted May 28, 2008 4:21 p.m. EDT
Updated May 28, 2008 9:51 p.m. EDT

— 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.