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This dog is so cute; he’ll even buy your gas

The SPCA of Wake County said they are seeing a 14 percent increase in animals being given up. To help more pets get homes, the shelter is offering gas cards to people who adopt.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Gas prices are up, food prices are higher and for some, mortgage problems are leading to soaring foreclosure rates.  With all the economic turmoil, more people are giving up their pets.

The SPCA of Wake County said they are seeing a 14 percent increase in animals being given up by their owners than this time last year. The reason: their owners can't afford to take care of them.

“Within the last 24 hours, we've seen six animals come to our door solely because of the economy. The inability to take care of them, to feed them, and that's unprecedented here,” Hope Hancock, SPCA of Wake County executive director, said.

During these tough economic times, apology notes found with pets left on the doorsteps is all to common.

“There's just cage, after cage, after cage of animals,” Pam Powell said as she looked into adopting a SPCA pet.

Hancock said that is a sign of how times have changed.

“This is not a happy time at all,” Johnston County Animal Service director Ernie Wilkinson added.

Johnston County's animal shelter is seeing the same problem – more pets coming to the shelter, and fewer going out.

“As we see those animals coming into the shelter now, these animals have been loved and cared for and nourished. They've had proper veterinary care,” Wilkinson said.

Some dogs at the shelter are even registered with the American Kennel Club.

Shelter directors said it is clear many pet owners are being forced to make the difficult decision of giving them up.

“It's sad that animals become dispensable. That's one thing people see themselves as being able to get rid of,” Hancock said.

From July 7 to July 31, the SPCA of Wake County is offering $10 gas cards to anyone who adopts a pet.


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