Sunday, June 15, 2008
Owners can no longer afford pets, shelter faces overcrowding
Reported on WKRN News (Channel 2) Pets are the latest victims of the struggling economy. The Metro Animal Shelter is reporting a jump in the number of surrendered or abandoned animals, as fewer people can afford them. Typically, most of the animals that come into the shelter are picked up by animal control. Recently, however, shelter officials said they have seen more animals coming through their front doors dropped off by people who just can't afford to keep them anymore. Director Jude Ladebauche, Metro Animal Control, said, "They aren't animals we're picking up in the field they're animals that people are surrendering to us for one reason or another and it's heartbreaking." Dogs like Harley and Rocky are newcomers to the shelter and face greater odds. Harley is five-years-old, not as popular an age for adoption as some of the puppies. Ladebauche said because the shelter is so full, it can only support the dogs and cats for one to two weeks, maximum, before they have to make room for new ones. She said, "It's extremely difficult to know so many of them really won't ever find a second home." Still, shelter officials encourage those who can no longer afford their pets to bring them in so they have a chance to find a new owner. The shelter has taken in almost 12,000 animals this year, 1,500 of which last month. Ladebauche said she expects to break a record this year for the number of animals coming into the Metro Animal Shelter.