Economy forces owners to give up pets - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Economy forces owners to give up pets

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Hamilton County Animal Shelter Hamilton County Animal Shelter

Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News

Hamilton County - Everywhere you look in the Hamilton County Animal Shelter, the stories are the same these days. Dogs and Cats are given up by their owners.

"We know times are tough and we know these decisions are difficult for folks.  But we've heard stories of folks who've lost their homes we've heard stories from folks who can no longer afford to feed their animals or provide for their medical care," said David Landau of the Hamilton County Humane Society.

Dogs like Coco and Cassie have been here since last spring.

"We definitely know that the animals that have been here the longest would definitely prefer to be in a home environment," explained Landau.

Cats too, like Pops a stray brought in after he was hit by a car.  They have been in cages for months waiting for someone to take them home.

The problem say shelter officials is that when animals are packed in tightly, the chance of them getting sick increases.

"Time has never been more critical for us.  We are filled beyond capacity.  Disease spreads quicker when we have this many animals," said Landau.

That's why the Humane Society is starting its Home for the Holidays Campaign.  Their goal is to have 200 animals in new homes by Christmas.

"We can't think of a better time than the holidays to offer up a warm and loving home," says Landau.

The shelter will host an adopt-a-thon December 20th and 21st with incentives to adopt animals that have been in the shelter the longest.  Some dogs will come with a $150 training package.  Cats who have been in the shelter the longest will come with a $50 gift card to Pet Supplies Plus.
    
But shelter officials say there's one incentive that stands out above the rest.

"They're not only saving the life of an animal that they're adopting but they're opening up additional space for another animal in need. So its actually two lives that they're saving," Landau added.

Puppies and kittens are always the first to go.  But Humane Society officials say most older dogs and cats already come housebroken.  So the transition to your home is much easier.

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