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Are Pets Victims of the Recession?

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As the economy continues to decline, more and more individuals are losing their jobs and facing foreclosure on their home. Many people forget that it isn't just the owners who lose their home.

Often times, the pets of those who lose their home are forced into shelters or worse, left behind. In this infographic, you'll learn how pets suffer during hard economic times and how you can help these furry companions.

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Animals Left Behind

  • Every year, 5 to 7 million domesticated animals enter shelters.
  • 3 to 4 million of them are euthanized annually (about one every eight seconds).
  • Nearly 60% of dogs and 70% of cats that enter these shelters are put to sleep.
  • More than 20% of people who adopted a dog from an animal shelter end up returning them.
  • From 2006 to 2011, pet ownership in the United States has declined by 2.4%. 1.9% decline for dogs and 6.2% decline for cats.

Sidebar:The recession began in 2007, and by November of 2009 unemployment was well over 10%.


  • It's estimated that there are up to 70 million stray cats in the United States.
  • A can can produce up to 2 litters a year and the average litter size is four to six kittens.
  • The average litter for a dog is four to six puppies.
  • On average it costs $100 to capture, house, feed and eventually kill an animal in a shelter. This adds up to an estimated $2 billion a year for U.S. taxpayers.
  • For every person born in the U.S., 7 dogs and cats are born.
  • Only 20% of these pets remain in their original home for the length of their life. The other 80% end up on the streets or are left in shelters.

What can you do to help?

  • Spay or neuter your pets.

Spaying a dog can cost $50 to $175.

A female dog and her offspring have the potential to give birth to 67,000 dogs in 6 years.

  • Find a home for your pet or take them with you.
  • Don't set your pet free or abandon them.
  • Find them a new home with a friend, coworker, or family member.
  • Use online resources to find local rescue centers or animal shelters for your furry companion.
  • Submitting your animal to an open-admission shelter does not guarantee they will be adopted or kept alive, especially if overcrowding occurs.

Leaving your animals in your foreclosed home can fall under neglect and abuse and you could be prosecuted.

  • Don't hoard animals. Find homes or shelters for animals you don't have the space for. An estimated 250,000 animals are victims of hoarders every year.
  • Side note: If you're an animal lover, donate food or time to your local shelter to help ease their financial burden.


Animals don't have to suffer with you during your financial hardships. Before you move out or if you just can't afford to keep them anymore, find your animal companion a suitable environment where they will have a happier future.

For more information, check out Total Bankruptcy.

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