A part of this recession, the foreclosures, loss of jobs, and high gas prices; that doesn't occur to a lot of people is how it affects pets.
In this article on CNN's website discusses that aspect of it all. There are food banks that now offer pet food as well.
You might think, "Well if they can't offord their own food, why should they feed a pet? Why not just get rid of the pet." Or maybe, "That is ridiculous, now we are not only helping lazy people who don't have a job, now we have to help out there pets." (Not how I feel at all... in fact opposite of my feelings.)
For some people pets can be a source of joy. Their cat or dog might be the only thing that is keeping them sane. Pets are used as therapy in hospitals and nursing homes. Pets seem to be able to tell when a person needs them most. We have experienced that first hand in our house, as Mean Kitty will always curl up with you when you are ill, even when she normally wouldn't even come near you.
In my life, we have always had a pet or two. Since I can remember there have been cats and dogs aplenty who kept us safe, taught us about life, and loved us. I try to imagine a childhood without at least a cat who came and went, and it feels lonely. I know that some people don't like cats, or dogs, or both and I guess I can understand that. My dad claims to not like pets, but he gets attached to them, especially the dogs. Without those pets, my teenage years would have been harder, without having a cat curl up next to me when I was sad or depressed. I still think my cats help me when I am sad and lonely. Which happens a lot more now that Will has been gone.
I fully support food banks giving pet food to families who need food help. I fully support the family's right to keep their pet with them. I do not support families who just let their dog or cat go. Or do other sick things to them to be rid of them.