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I am a multimedia journalist currently working as a Senior Web Journalist/ Videographer with Khaleej Times in Dubai, UAE. Prior to this, I worked as a news editor with CNN’s Indian affiliate in Noida. I graduated from Syracuse University in New York state in 2012 with a Masters degree in Broadcast and Digital journalism. I have worked in video production, online journalism, features writing and market research over a period of four years.

More pets lose homes in tight economy

Finding homes becomes harder for animal rescue groups

By Nilanjana Gupta (SYRACUSE) – People are not the only victims of the dismal economy. Pets are also being impacted. As more and more people abandon their pets due to tight budgets, it gets harder for rescue groups to find homes for them.

More pets rendered homeless as economy gets worse © 2011 Wikipedia

A challenge for Foster networks

Amber Coon from Syracuse Animal Rights Organization (SARO) currently fosters two cats and five rats at her house. She is looking for homes by advertising on petfinder website but she said with more people on tight budgets, it takes longer to find homes.

“We don’t kill our animals when we don’t have space but that means we have to say -No we are full…  we have to find homes for the animals that we have right now,” Coon said.

CNY-SPCA running at maximum capacity

Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or SPCA is the largest pet shelter group in Central New York. With 55 dogs, 230 cats and 7 rabbits, it’s running at maximum capacity.

“The economy has definitely had  a huge impact on the animal shelters.. not just here, but everywhere… People are constantly returning their pets.. saying they can’t pay the vet bills… they can’t afford to feed them,” Kimberly Smith, Director of Education CNY-SPCA, said.

Smith said with 20% increase in animals coming in as compared to last year, the SPCA has even reduced its adoption fees to encourage people to take a cat or a dog home.

Some people still don’t let go of pets

Surprisingly, there are still people who don’t give up animals despite no money.

“We saw a lot of homeless people yesterday who had dogs… My daughter asked – “Why they have dogs if they can’t afford food for themselves?” I think just to give them company as they are so lonely,” Wendy Blanck, owner of two pet dogs, said.

Each year approximately 8 million pets wait in shelters for someone to come for them.

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