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With foreclosures up, so are unwanted pets

May 20, 2008 | 11:52 am

Kitten_cage

The soaring number of home foreclosures, which is turning some homeowners into apartment dwellers, also appears to be displacing the pet population, the L.A. Daily News reports, offering some suggestive statistics:

As foreclosure signs spring up across Los Angeles, so has the number of unwanted pets. In the first four months of 2008, city animal shelters reported a 16% increase in pet drop-offs and abandoned animals over the same period last year.

While exact numbers of pets being given up because of foreclosures are not available, city shelters say the number of residents who report giving up their animals because of "moving" or "landlord" has increased 21%.

The spike is mirrored at shelters across the nation, where pet "surrenders" largely due to the crisis in home foreclosures are soaring, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Another angle, especially in areas hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, such as California's Central Valley, is that some homeonwers, rather than surrendering their pets to animal shelters, are simply leaving their pets behind when they pack up:

Bloggers are furious with the "foreclosure pet" phenomenon, especially after seeing photos of emaciated animals on the Web. Some critics say the pet owners have already proved they are irresponsible by buying houses they could not afford or mortgages they did not bother to understand. AP

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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