Scores of Animals Affected by Sagging Economy - High Abandon Rates Are Forcing Thousands of Animals to be Euthanized

New York City, August 16, 2011 –  As more and more stories of families having to give up their homes due to mortgage woes and other financial hardships make the news, one story that is not making headlines is tens of thousands of animals and pets who are being abandoned in record numbers and rescue shelters that are overwhelmed trying to save them while facing financial crisis themselves.   Today, SPCA International launched a “Funding Crisis Campaign” to combat low donation rates and high surrender rates.

“The sad fact is animal shelters across the United States are continuing to see very high surrender rates and this is causing a real crisis as rescue groups are trying to come up with needed funds to keep the abandoned animals from euthanasia,” says Stephanie Scott of SPCA International.  “During our recent ‘Pawsitive Progress Summer Roadtrip’,  our case workers heard from shelter after shelter across America about continuously high surrender rates due to the economy.  The horse population is especially suffering due to the higher cost of feeding and shelter according to rescue groups like Shadarobah Horse Rescue in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  In St. John’s County Florida alone, in a six-month time period this year the number of surrendered animals jumped to 2,403 from 2,118 from the same period a year earlier according to news reports.”

During these troubling financial times, SPCA International is seeing “half-off” sales for cat and kitten adoptions as shelters try to reduce their populations so they do not have to turn away so many abandoned animals in need.  Rescue groups such as Animal House Rescue and Grooming in Fort Collins, CO, a no-kill rescue group that saves animals on “death-row” at kill-shelters, are overwhelmed by all the animals in need and they lack the funds to keep up with the rising demand.  

SPCA International itself is $45,000 behind its summer fundraising projections due to the recent economic instability and risks rolling back program initiatives if they cannot get back on track.  They have set a goal of raising $45,000 in the next two weeks in hopes of being able to continue delivering needed funds to countless shelter and rescue groups, as well as soldier’s in Iraq and Afghanistan desperate to get their wartime buddies to the U.S. before they redeploy home.   

With the housing market forecasted to remain sluggish into 2013, the number of animals that need to be saved from euthanasia is only getting greater by the day.

For more on the Funding Crisis Campaign, go to www.spcai.org.

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