Monday, June 30, 2008

Hundreds of Pets Given Up, Put Down

The front page of this morning's Tennessean featured a horribly sad and disturbing article about the number of animals being dropped off at animal shelters:

Pet owners in Nashville are increasingly giving up their pets to shelters, and animal control officials say the slumping economy is to blame.

This month alone, Metro Animal Care and Control has seen record numbers of owner-surrendered pets, defined as pets whose owners leave them at the shelter. This number has for the first time overtaken the number of stray dogs and cats that are found or dropped off. . . .

The number of animals in Metro that have been euthanized in June has already reached more than 1,100 — nearly 300 more than at this time last year.

That's awful.

I don't claim to know what financial challenges are facing the people who are turning in their pets. Maybe some have to choose between feeding their children and feeding their animals; maybe some have been forced to move into an apartment building that doesn't allow pets. Still, I can't imagine a situation in which I'd hand in my pets to be (almost certainly) euthanized.

An aside: Before reading this article, I was embarrassed to admit that we have six cats in our household. Now I'm proud to say that my family has saved the lives of six animals. I can also say that the Tinleys are doing our share; the rest of you need to go out and get some more animals.


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