NEW YORK The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today estimated that between 500,000 and 1 million cats and dogs in the United States are at risk of becoming homeless as a result of the continuing economic downturn.
“According to national financial estimates, approximately one in 171 homes in the United States is in danger of foreclosure due to the subprime mortgage crisis,” said Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Executive Vice President of ASPCA Programs and Science Advisor. “And considering that approximately 63 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet+, hundreds of thousands of pets are in danger of being abandoned or relinquished to animal shelters across the country.”
“Economic issues aside, it is estimated that 5 million companion animals enter shelters each year,” continued Dr. Zawistowski. “If you factor in the animals merely in danger of becoming homeless, it could result in an extra 10 to 20 percent increase in relinquishments to shelters. This has the potential to grow into a serious animal welfare issue, and some regions of the United States, like Nevada – where the foreclosure rates are three times the national average – could be hit much harder than others.”
“Everyone is being affected by the current economic crisis in some way, including animals,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Community animal shelters and rescue groups across the country could be seeing an increase in the number of homeless pets they must care for, or a decrease in the donations they rely on to care for those animals. There has never been a better time to support your local animal shelter if you are in a position to do so.”
The ASPCA is urging people to help in any way they can –
Adopt a homeless cat or dog and give them a second chance in a loving home;
- Donate used blankets, towels or even tennis balls to your local animal shelter or rescue group;
- Volunteer to foster adoptable animals in your home until they are ready to go to their forever homes; and
- Help the pet parents in your community who may be struggling to take care of their most beloved companions.
And for those who are faced with foreclosure and the loss of their pets, the ASPCA wants to reiterate the following important information:
- Check with friends, family and neighbors to see if someone can provide temporary foster care for your pet until you get back on your feet. Agree to a specific time frame, and check on the pet regularly;
- If you are moving into a rental property, make sure pets are allowed and get permission in advanceand in writing; and
- Contact your local animal shelter, humane society or rescue group, in advance of your move, since many shelters limit their admissions to the number of animals they can adequately care for. If a shelter agrees to take in your pet, provide medical records, behavior information, and anything else that might assist shelter workers in finding your pet a new home.
For more information about the ASPCA and its life-saving work, please visit www.ASPCA.org.
+According to estimates from the American Pet Product’s Manufacturer’s Association (APPMA)