Economic Crisis Reducing Animal Adoption Rates

We're not the only ones suffering. According to several news outlets, animal adoptions have significantly dropped over the past couple of months. With so many family's struggling just to keep their homes, there's no extra to spend on adopting an additional family member.

"Unfortunately, dogs and cats are kind of considered a luxury item," says Reagen Kulseth, founder of SAFE (Saving Animals From Euthanasia). "They're an extra expense people can't justify."

"It's quite a dramatic drop-off [in adoptions]," states John Welsh, Riverside County, California's animal services spokesman. "It's a trend we don't want to see."

Not only are animals not getting placed in permanent homes, donations to the shelters that care for homeless animal's are decreasing as well. This makes it hard for the shelters to deal with the animals they can't adopt out; leading to overcrowding and serious financial trouble. According to, a group called the Sunburst Foundation, located in Wilmington, North Carolina, "'adopted out' about twenty dogs" last year. "This year, it's been able to place only two or three."

Meanwhile, more and more familys are giving up their animals to shelters, because they no longer have the funds necessary to care for them - adding yet more unplaceable pets to shelters that are suffering the same constraints as the owners who dropped the animals off.

Kulseth's SAFE, "like many other rescue groups...has cut back on the number of animals they take in."

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. -

The Humane Society of the United States, in response to the problem, issued a press release offering grants to rescue groups in need.