You can keep your dog or cat during tough financial times

23 10 2010

For many pet owners, the notion of abandoning a much-loved dog or cat is so foreign, people are allowed to be desensitized to this unfathomable reality because they feel it doesn’t effect them. That would only be for the cruel, insensitive or ignorant, right? Well, with the economic devastation that placed a choke- hold on our nation a couple of years ago and still has a mighty grip, it has been an all too common occurence for people to part with their pets out of desperation. It doesn’t have to be that way.

As people are losing their homes and struggling to find ways to make ends meet, dogs and cats are sometimes seen as a burden to bear; one more mouth to feed, or another dependent with potential medical needs. The naked truth is pets help people cope with stress, can positively impact physical and emotional well-being in their owners and can help loved ones better deal with a myriad of challenges, so they should stay within the family if at all possible. The crises too will pass, and when it does, the family, including the animal will have remained intact. In cities all over the country, many organizations are rising to the occasion to help address this gut-wrenching quandry. People devoted to their pets can find free resources to help them keep their families together through very difficult times.

An organization in Northeast Ohio, called: PAX: Peace for Animals is an example of a pet food bank within the established confines of a traditional food bank. Those in need can find food for their animals, and also receive supplies, and in some cases referrals for additional social services. Save Our Pets Food Bank is another example of a group addressing the need for pets to stay within their families, and offers free food to defray that cost where money is tight. Other groups around the country can be found on the internet, through veterinary clinics and other community outreach venues.

The economy has been an unrelentless quagmire of confusion, loss, fear, and indecision; our pets can sometimes be the most healing sources we could ever find to handle the myriad of unknowns during the most challenging of times. Free resources are becoming more and more available to address the needs of families with pets; it is even more common to find living environments that are pet friendly as opposed to even five years ago. If you are faced with financial devastation and fear you must give up your dog or cat, think again. There is help- your animals stay home and you benefit immeasurably from all that they know how to give.

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