People Giving Up Pets Because They Can’t Afford Them

05 Jan

I’ve read several articles in the news about people giving up their pets because of the tight economy. More than 80 dogs have been dropped off at a single shelter in West Virginia. Other shelters have seen a sharp increase in people dropping off pets because they can no longer afford them. And, because of the economic scares, fewer people are adopting pets.

It’s hard to understand giving up a family pet because money’s tight. I’d have to be missing some meals before I could give up my fur-kids.  I know there are situations in which the pet truly cannot remain with its owners, and for them I am deeply sorry. Knowing that adult pets are far more difficult to find homes for – and many of them are put down at shelters – I hope that if there’s no money for pet food, there’s also no money for cell phones, cable television, clothes, bottled water, movies and sweets. If there’s money for that stuff, there’s money for your dog.

The decisions we make in the emotional moments after losing a job or filing for bankruptcy are sometimes life-and-death decisions for our pets, who have no say in the decision making process.

Let’s not toss them aside too quickly.

Before you drop your dog off at a shelter, please think about what it really costs to keep your dog. If you already have a leash, collar and crate, what does it really cost? For a healthy dog, it only costs food and heartworm/flea medication. There may be areas in which you can save money that are often overlooked. Do you mow your own lawn? Do you have bottled water delivery? Can you reduce your cable/satellite or Internet service package? How often do you go to Starbucks?

In other words, are the discretionary things you spend your money on worth your dog’s life?

Our dogs give so much, and they don’t ask for much in return. Let’s at least provide a safe home for them with the people they love.


Posted by on January 5, 2012 in In the News


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12 responses to “People Giving Up Pets Because They Can’t Afford Them

  1. Peaches and Pumpkins

    January 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I think people are quick to give away their dogs because they don’t want to give up anything else in their lives. Our dog is more a member of the family than anything else..and when times are tough, I can’t get rid of one of my kids:) you figure something else out! thanks for sharing.

  2. Irene V.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Great article and well said!. Oftentimes people don’t think about how much can be saved when they take a close look at their life style. I say make your own cup of java instead of buying the expensive stuff.

    There are hundreds of ways you can save and still keep your devoted pal. Try eating out less and how about letting those cigarettes go if you smoke. I’m sure Fido would appreciate that.

    How can you throw away a family member!!!!!!!!! Really!!!!!!!!!

  3. petwemet

    January 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

    May people leave their pets, on its own, they don’t ever care how they will live on

  4. One Dollar Dog Toy

    January 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    People who can just drop off a dog at a shelter shouldn’t have gotten a dog in the first place. Yes some circumstances might be different but it’s really a shame. I will never understand.

    For the last couple of months I have been helping a homeless man and his dog Mary. They live near by on the streets. He could easily live in the warmth of a homeless shelter but he has had to give up so much because he has his dog Mary. (They don’t allow dogs at homeless shelters). If this homeless man can fight through living on the streets with his best friend Mary, shame on all the other people who just gave up their dogs.

  5. Liezl Siozon

    January 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I agree with the other sentiments that people should think twice before giving up their pets. I volunteer for an animal rescue shelter, and I have seen alot of cats and dogs being surrendered. Most of the reasons have been that people are losing their homes, and they cannot take their pets with them. In a way I do understand if someone is in dire straits and cannot stay afloat. But it seems that people are quick to just give up their pets when financial problems come up. I have also seen divorcing couples give up their pet. I think this is heartless and worse than giving the pet up because of financial reasons. It is heartbreaking to see all these surrendered pets come to my rescue group. Do the owners know how traumatized the pets become after living in a home with love and now being in a cage?

    I love the story above about the homeless man and his dog. I have seen homeless people in NYC push a cart with a dog beside them. God bless the man!

    Besides being an animal rescue volunteer, I am also a pet photographer. One of my mission statements is to encourage pet adoption. I also donate a portion of my sales to various animal rescue groups.

  6. Lisa R

    January 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Very well said! People really shouldn’t get a pet if they aren’t planning on keeping it through thick and thin. They are part of my family. Unfortunately, you see this a lot with horses too, and being much larger and requiring more money and even more specialized care than a dog can make it even harder to place them.

  7. jamesbouchard

    January 23, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Great article post .All our dogs come from the pound. Most of the time they have already been given up and are set to be put down.
    As soon as we re-home one dog, we go to the pound and get another one.

  8. Teresa

    January 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I have 3 small dogs, a mama and 2 of her pups. To make a long story short, the mama dog was our granddaughters and we took her in. Before I could get her spayed, my daughters Pom gave her 7 pups! I got great homes for 5 and we ended up keeping the mama and two boys. The boys are 2 yrs now and I can’t imagine our lives without them. My husband and I had an empty nest until these 3 expensive love bugs came along! I am no rich person by any means, but we feed and care for them well with a lot of love. It is very hard sometimes meeting the vet bills and other things for them, but we manage. Where there’s a will there is usually way and i would search high and low for a way before I gave one of them up.

  9. rb

    February 7, 2012 at 2:57 am

    A great idea to start, is a Pet Food Bank!

    There are several examples on the internet that can be contacted for how to start one.

    At the Pet Food Bank, it could also be possible for pet stores, and people to donate pet supplies and toys.

    If you are reading this, please consider this for where you live and email, facebook, and twitter the idea to everyone you know so that others can be started in other villages, towns and cities.

    God will bless you for helping the poor and their innocent pets.

  10. AshleyL

    March 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Giving away my dog (Sophey) would never be an option for me. I love that this post recognized that if you can’t afford your dog, then you shouldn’t be affording your cable, internet, and cell phones. People these days are so strung up on material items but can your cell phone cuddle with you when you are sick? Or your tv look at you with eyes that just scream that they love you more than life? I adopted Sophey from a shelter where she was returned 3 different times within the first year of her life. I fell in love so fast that I adopted her the day after I met her. She is now a part of our family even with our extended family.

    I understand that the economy is not good and a lot of families have it hard but if there were a severe reason for needing to find Sophey a new home we would never put her back in a shelter.

    Referring to the original post’s mention of older dogs being hard to adopt I heard a story of a woman who goes to her local shelter and adopts the 2 oldest dogs, nurses them back to health and happiness and when they pass she goes back and gets the next 2 oldest dogs. The story touches my heart and I wish I could do the same but putting my first dog that I grew up with for 14 years was the hardest day of my life. I hope that it will inspire others to do the same and do what they can.

    If you need to give up your animal for whatever reason the least you can do is donate to the shelter. You can donate money and I know a lot of shelters have lists of toys, food, cleaning supplies, etc. that they need.

  11. judith britez

    March 10, 2013 at 3:58 am

    I just had to put my best friend to rest. I miss her so much. I want another dog but live on a fixed from retirement and couldn’t afford one. it takesmore than love to have a pet. ibwpuld love to have an older dog to make their life better

  12. One Dollar Dog Toy

    March 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Judith. Sorry to hear about the passing of your best friend. I love it when people adopt out older dogs because they are usually the last to be picked and there are so many older dogs in shelters and in rescue organizations. I read up on a company that donates dog food for those who can’t afford it. It is all on donation basis and I plan on donating to this organization next. You can re-apply every 6 months. Might want to look into that if you are interested. It is called pet food stamps (dot) org (

    Your best friend is looking over you now from doggy heaven.


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