By: Jessica Silvaggio
Many people have been hit by a slow economy. But pets are suffering, too.
Phyllis Lee owns a Rhodesian Ridge Back Hound, a rare African breed. She recently retired with the majority of her retirement money was in the fallen stock market. She says she can no longer afford to keep her pet, Ginger.
"My sicknesses, hospitalizations, retirement falling through the stock market, it's been very very hard to even take care of myself much less her."
Lee is struggling to support her cuddly canine. She even went without her medication to feed Ginger.
"The cost of the blood pressure medication is a bag of dog food for her," Lee said.
it's a challenge for dog owners like Lee to find a safe place for their pets since rescue missions and many animal shelters have reached capacity.
Carolina Poodle Rescue is a no-kill shelter in South Carolina that now houses 150 dogs. Director of Carolina Poodle Rescue, Donna Ezzell, said that half of those dogs were given up because families could no longer afford to keep them due to tough economic situations.
She and her team rescued 25 dogs just last week.
"Last year we took in 402 and we adopted 400 so that was in 2009 right now we are tracking it the last time I looked at the figure ten days ago we had taken in 289 but we only adopted about 250," said Ezzell.
None of the pets that come through the doors are any less valued than those who already have homes.
"We are not Goodwill for pets. Just because they have been in a home once before does not mean that they are damaged goods…just because they are in a shelter does not mean it was any fault of the pet," said Ezzell.