Pete, a 3-year-old basset hound, was dropped off at a Humane Society just a few days before his owner was evicted from his home.
Snuggles, a 3-year-old rabbit, was brought in because her owner could no longer afford to keep her.
Squirt, an 8-year-old longhair Siamese mix, adopted from a shelter as a kitten in 2002, is back -- a victim of foreclosure.
“Three years ago, we would have had enough room to bring in homeless pets from overburdened shelters in other states. Now, we have to slow down transfers because more local people are surrendering pets," said a spokeswoman for this particular shelter.
And this story is sadly similar, throughout our vast nation.
Animal rescue organizations throughout America have reported a substantial increase in relinquished animals as our economy has taken a dive -- including a spike in animals left behind in foreclosed and abandoned homes.
``We now get a lot of calls from police departments to get dogs or cats out of foreclosed homes," said one rescue organization spokesman.
People who drop off their pets at shelters for economic reasons generally blame job loss, foreclosure, bankruptcy, or downsizing from homes to small apartments.
“The worst situation is when pets are being found abandoned and scavenging for food in streets and parks. It's just sad."
In the current tough times, the number of people unwilling or unable to care for a pet any longer has risen substantially.
While most of the surrendered animals right now are dogs, shelters are also reporting a higher amount of cats being found on our streets, either as strays or simply abandoned by their owners.
According to The Cat Network, a nonprofit organization focused on spaying and neutering education, one cat can generate a family tree of 3,000 cats in a single year.
"Unless we encourage the spaying and neutering of all cats, we won't be able to control the cat population," said a member of The Cat Network.
This organization does not operate a shelter, but its volunteers work to find homes for abandoned and stray cats.
They also urge cat owners who are thinking about surrendering their pets to join their network, and to participate in weekend adoption programs at PetSmart, Pet Supermarket, or PetCo.
"We encourage them to join the program and get their own pets spayed and neutered," said a Cat Network spokesperson, who is presently fostering four kittens and four cats herself, while trying to find them a permanent home.
Very sadly, these pet supermarkets have now also become a frequent site for owners to 'dump' their pets.
A kennel assistant at a Humane Society said she recently picked up a 4-year-old cat found outside a PetSmart.
“People somehow think it's OK to just drop them off.”
And in my neck of the woods, things are very sadly no different. We are finding abandoned dogs – everywhere, these days. And we are finding more and more starving cats that have not been spayed or neutered – just tossed out into the mean city streets and rural areas, to fend for themselves.
Please Help, Anyway You Can – By Adopting, or Donating, or Volunteering, at your local animal shelter, humane society, or animal rescue group.
America’s once treasured pets truly need all the help that they can get, right now.