"While the ASPCA has not personally experienced an increase in animal intake to its Manhattan Adoption Center due to the economy, we have heard that many shelters across the country are seeing an increase in the number of abandoned animals," said Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Executive Vice President of ASPCA Programs & Science Advisor. "This issue will vary drastically from region to region across the United States, and without a network in place to collect and report these numbers from the nearly 5,000 community animal shelters nationwide, it is difficult to quantify."
"The loss of a home is devastating and can only be made worse by having to also leave behind a beloved family pet," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "The ASPCA wants to remind pet owners that planning ahead is the best way to make an informed decision. Even though options in these cases may be less than ideal, it will be much better than simply leaving the pet behind in an abandoned home."
If you are facing foreclosure, the ASPCA advises you to check with friends, family and neighbors to see if someone can provide temporary foster care for your pet until you get back on your feet. Contact your local animal shelter, humane society or rescue group, in advance of your move, since many shelters limit their admissions to the number of animals they can adequately care for. If a shelter agrees to take in your pet, provide medical records, behavior information, and anything else that might assist shelter workers in finding your pet a new home.
"It is difficult and heartbreaking to lose a pet as a result of economic hardship," continued Sayres. "But pet parents may take comfort in knowing that their pet will be better off, if they plan ahead and keep their cat or dog’s well-being in mind."