More people are becoming desperate to cut expenses in the tumbling economy. As some animal owners resort to giving up their pets, animal groups caution that domesticated animals face dire consequences when they’re dropped off in the country or at a street corner.
"Pet dogs aren’t used to fending for themselves,” said Sandy Case, representative with Australian Shepherd Rescue in Oklahoma City. "Starving to death, being hit by a car and left to suffer, and being killed by coyotes are all things that dogs face if they are on their own.”
Pet owners who want to give up pets should first contact a rescue service. But Case said a common problem is that people want someone to take their animal immediately. That makes it difficult for foster or rescue services to find a home for them.
Talk to friends about taking the pet, experts say. Animals should be spayed or neutered. Owners also may try placing their pet through lists on the Internet.
Rescue services and shelters are listed at NewsOK.com.