Down Turning Economy Sends Animal Shelter Numbers Up

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Basin workers aren't the only ones being hit hard by a sinking economy - the family pet is taking a hit too. NewsWest 9 has learned that local shelters are so packed they're trying to add new kennels and even having to turn some away.

"It's difficult to turn down an animal," Bryan Yancey, with the Odessa Humane Society, said. "Especially one's that people just can't afford. It tears your heart out."

The Humane Society in Odessa keeps getting louder and louder. Local shelters are filling up fast with pets whose families couldn't afford to take care of them anymore.

"It's heartwrenching to see someone drop their animal off and have to leave it here and watch the children all distraught having to leave the pet here because they have no other choice," Yancey said. "They've lost their job, they may have lost their home."

Since Christmas, there's almost double the number of cats and dogs at the shelter and adoptions went down, leaving nearly 200 pets needing a home and even the donations have dropped.

There's so many that Humane Society volunteers are building extra kennels to hold them all.

The recession isn't only hurting animal shelters, but vets are feeling the pinch too, meaning the family pet may get less medical care.

NewsWest 9 spoke with a Veterinarian at the Angel Clinic in Odessa, and they say many West Texans are only getting the bare necessities for their pets, like shots.