Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Pets Hit Hard by Economy
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In tough economic times, it seems more and more families have to make the hard decision to give up their pets. Just search Craigslist.com and you'll find many dogs and cats looking to be re-homed, because their owners have either lost their jobs or their homes.
"There has been many people who give their pets up to the SPCA and their numbers fluctuate," said Meera Nandlal, a spokesperson for the Houston SPCA. From January 2008 to March 2009, the Houston SPCA says nearly a thousand unwanted pets have been dropped off by owners citing "they just can't afford them".
This increasing trend has pet lover Phil Waldrop disturbed.
"They are not that expensive," said Waldrop. "Just some dog food and some water, but that's a personal choice. We're not giving up our pets. We're keeping them at whatever cost."
The Heights resident had rescued two bloodhounds, named Rickey and Sunset, from the racetrack. Just two months ago, he lost his job as a construction supervisor. Added to that, Rickey got seriously ill.
"He had cancer and had to have a kidney removed," said Phil Waldrop. "It was about $8000 plus he still goes to chemo. Every week or so it's another $200 to $1000. It's hard to come up with that money, but we find a way to do it because you love your pet."
"Maybe you have lost your job," said Nandlal. "There is help and you can come to the Houston SPCA."
Animal experts there, say they can direct pet owners to low-cost spay and neuter facilities as well as educate people on how to put their pets on a budget. Their hope is to keep Houston's furry friends together with their forever families.