AR-News: (US) The Effects of the Economy on Animal Shelters
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Wed Jul 2 12:04:14 EDT 2003
The Effects of the Economy on Animal Shelters
by Danielle Heslin
Posted on July 1, 2003
Mixed Breed Cat
The downturn in the economy of the United States that started shortly before George W. Bush became president and was greatly exacerbated by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001 has had a dramatic effect on animal shelters.
The New York City government has reduced its funding of the Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) by almost $2 million per year. This has forced the CACC, which takes in approximately 60,000 animals annually and euthanizes more than two-thirds of them, to reduce significantly the hours during which its shelters are open.
The Center for Animal Care and Control
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles
The Humane Society of the United States
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles has been forced to close two of its shelters in response to sizeable declines in donations and the value of the organizations investment portfolio.
The economic downturn has not only reduced funding, but led to an increase in the number of animals being surrendered and a decrease in the number of animals being adopted.
The Pet Connection of Greater Kansas City has experienced an approximately 70 percent decline in adoptions from its shelter during the past year.
"The reality is that if you are having more animals coming in, you don't have the luxury of holding animals as long as you'd like," Humane Society of the United States Director of Animal Sheltering Issues Kate Pullen recently said. "So, you are faced with hard decisions. With more animals coming in, sometimes you have to euthanize more."
"Fewer adoptions taking place just exacerbates the problem," animal activist Deborah Kleeman stated.
Despite widespread knowledge of the cat and dog overpopulation problem, only about 14 percent of pets in the United States are acquired from shelters. The rest are purchased from stores or breeders.
If more people would simply choose to adopt instead of purchase, the problems being experienced by shelters would be alleviated. Increased use of low-cost veterinary services and/or animal food banks by individuals whose alternative is to surrender their pets also would help.
© 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.
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