Abandoned animals a growing problem - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Abandoned animals a growing problem

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - You may have noticed more cats and dogs roaming around your neighborhood looking for food and water. It's likely because people can't afford their pets anymore, so they're dumping them on the streets.

In Thomasville the Humane Society says the number of abandoned animals they've brought in is up by 200 compared to last year.

The shelter is overcrowded and in return they're forced to put more animals to sleep. They say the economy is to blame.

Hundreds of cats and dogs line the Thomas County Humane Society crying out for a home.

But the down economy has sent many of them to the streets to fend for themselves.

"The number of abandoned animals is up. We see people bringing them in everyday we even rent out traps so people can bring them in," Joyce Patterson.

Executive Director Joyce Patterson says they've collected 200 more abandoned animals than last year.

"I think in one day last week we got 31 cats in one day," she said.

During our 30 minute visit to the shelter, three kittens were brought in from dumpsters and neighborhoods.

"The dump is a popular place. I think people think they'll find food but that just isn't the case," said Patterson.

The shelter even makes it easy for people to drop off abandoned animals, or even pets they can no longer afford, with this night drop off area.

And the shelters noticed a huge increase in their night drops

Only 5 dogs were dropped off last year, this year, 46. For cats it's much worse. 93 cats were dropped off during night hours last year, this year, 178.

And overcrowding means more euthanizations. Also up about 200 from last year.

"It's a lack of responsibility, it's the economy, it's a lot of things," said Patterson.

A lot of things kitten and puppy ears don't understand.

All they know is they want a loving home, not a life on the streets.

 Because of economic conditions the Humane society lost their agreement with Pedigree this year, so they rely on donations for food.

They're also short staffed, they need more volunteers and members.

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