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Shelters overrun with family pets during economic downturn

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You may have heard that animal shelters across the US are seeing an unfortunate increase in "owner releases" due to home foreclosures and other economic difficulties. In addition, animal adoptions are on the decrease, as potential pet owners feel the budget squeeze and decide that now is not a good time to take on the expense of caring for an animal. The equation of more animals entering shelters and fewer animals finding homes means that many organizations are overrun at the moment. As reported by the New York Times and other media outlets, the problem is serious.

In response to this crisis, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has just issued a third round of shelter grants. From the HSUS website:

To help keep families and pets together through foreclosures and financial crisis, the Humane Society of the United States has created a grant program for shelters and rescue groups.

Pets have been among the voiceless victims of the current economic downturn. Animals have been left behind in foreclosed homes, and shelters are reporting that families are struggling to keep and feed pets.

To ease the current hardships, The HSUS is offering grants to animal shelters, non-sheltered rescue/adoption groups and animal care and control agencies to help establish, expand, or publicize services or programs that assist families in caring for their pets during the current economic crisis.

Grants range from $500 to $2,000 per organization. Collaboration is encouraged, and preference will be given to organizations that have a cooperative agreement with other agencies in their community such as a food bank or other community service agency.

Individuals can help keep pets and their families together by donating directly to this important fund.

"Dealing with a financial crisis is scary enough," said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for Companion Animals at the Humane Society of the United States. "We hope to ease the burden in some way for families by helping their local shelter help them keep their pet home and part of the family."

If you can, please help.


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