“According to national financial estimates,
Approximately 1 in 171 homes in the United States,
Is in danger of foreclosure, in this current mortgage crisis.
Considering that approximately 63 percent of U.S. households
Have at least one pet, hundreds of thousands of America’s cats and dogs
Are in danger of being abandoned on the street, or relinquished to a shelter.”
Dr. Stephen Zawistowski,
Executive Vice President of the ASPCA
My heart breaks more and more these days in America’s latest crisis, as it did three and a half years ago. Back then, it was horrific Hurricane Katrina, and the largest pet rescue effort ever launched and organized in the United States.
And just when we finally managed to find homes for most of these loving Katrina ‘left behinds’ after several years of trying, America’s pets are now once again being abandoned, in record numbers, all across the country.
Every day now, I receive frantic calls and e-mails from people now facing home foreclosure.
“Do you know anyone at all who would take my dear old cat, Sammie? Anyone? I just can’t keep him anymore.”
“My family now has to move to an apartment with a ‘No Pet’ Policy. I am devastated. My two Labradors are totally bonded to each other. I so fear that they will now be separated or euthanized. Do you know anyone at all who would be willing to take them both in?”
And how I wish I could respond to each and every one of these despondent pet owners today: “Sure! I’ll gladly take them in, and care for them myself.”
And, even worse, on a weekly basis now, I get yet another abysmal phone call, about yet another abandoned pet in my area. “Ed, we’ve got another dumped dog at the park – a terrified old Spaniel – can you help us catch her?” “Ed, did you hear about all those cats and kittens dumped over at Miller’s Pond in the last few weeks? Uh, we need your traps, and your help. Please!”
And it now goes on and on, once again, all across America; and very sadly, it will only get much worse, before it gets any better.
Is it their fault that our government failed to regulate the mortgage industry? I think not.
Is it their fault that so many people are now abandoning their homes, and their pets, because they can no longer pay their mortgages? I think not.
Is it their fault that so many Americans are now losing their jobs, or that so many American senior citizens today are now being forced to make a decision about re-filling a prescription, or buying some dog or cat food for their pet? I think not.
All of America’s animal shelters are once again overflowing with loving animals in need of new homes. And all of America’s animal rescue groups are once again woefully understaffed, and woefully underfunded.
If you can possibly find it in your heart to adopt one more pet from an animal shelter, please do so right now. Thousands more are already on the way.
And if you can’t possibly adopt another pet, I beseech you to contact an animal rescue group in your own area which truly needs your help right now – many more volunteers are once again needed; more food and supplies are needed; and, of course, more funds to continue this massive pet rescue work are needed – right now.