Gulf Coast shelters report rapid rise in pet surrenders; nation’s shelters can help

By Jacques Von Lunen, OregonLive.com

When people face hard times, pets suffer, too. New data on shelter intake at the Gulf Coast shows this to be true once again. Local shelters that want to help out gulf shelters could receive support from the nation’s largest adoptable-pet database.

According to survey results released by Petfinder.com today, 43 percent of animal shelters and rescue groups in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas report an increase in pet surrenders since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico April 20.

The shelters that responded to the survey said that 85 percent of owners gave financial difficulty or job loss as primary reasons for surrendering the pet. This mirrors a Petfinder survey conducted in 2009, when 84 percent of shelters across North America reported increases in surrenders due to the economic downturn, foreclosures or job losses.

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