LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Animal shelters across Wisconsin say the economy is also taking a toll on pets.

Officials at Humane Societies throughout the state say they’re near or at capacity with cats and other pets.

Shelter officials say when people go through job losses or home foreclosure they can’t always afford to keep caring for a pet. In addition, dog owners are more likely to surrender their pets in September and October as kids go back to school and vacations end.

Heather Schmid is the executive director of the Coulee Region Humane Society in La Crosse. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio her shelter is always over capacity with cats, but lately it hasn’t had enough room for dogs either.

She says workers are doing everything they can to avoid euthanizing the animals.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (28)
  1. Elaine says:

    So euthanize more of them! Better to do that than CHARGE someone to adopt them, when maybe THAT person eventually won’t be able to afford their care!
    The economy is in tough shape, and I know many people that can no longer
    afford to feed the wild birds because the price of black oil sunflower seed has
    gone from $10 for a 50 lb bag to $35 for that same bag!

    Out here in our neck of the woods, people just drop off unwanted pets out in the
    country. Then they wander the roads without food, and often get hit by passing vehicles or gobbled up by hungry fox or coyotes. Which is better than starving to death, and it’s a meal for the wild animals.

    I’ve heard there’s a local guy that just shoots these drop-offs, and that’s a very
    humane and logical thing to do. Just as humane as euthanizing, and low cost.

    1. Sue says:

      I hope you don’t have any pets because you sound like one heartless person when it comes to pets.
      Animals are very special and should be treated decently and humanely not just left for the wild animals to feed on.

      1. Elaine says:

        Hey Sue…I’m not the one that’s dropping off pets! And I’ve had my share of pets
        over the years…dogs, cats, and one very beloved horse. I had her from the day
        she was born 27 years ago, and last summer I had to put her down because
        of her advancing age and leg problems. Horses can’t use canes, walkers, or
        wheelchairs! So the humane thing to do was put her to sleep, and I still cry
        about it and miss her.

    2. Tom says:

      @ Elaine

      You are heartless person! You don’t blame the animal because the people who adopted them didn’t figure out before hand they couldn’t afford to care for them.

      And for you to say that it humane for people to drop off their pet to be shot should shot themselves!

      1. Elaine says:

        Ya know I don’t blame the animals for lack of caring owners. People need to
        realize the time and expense of owning a pet BEFORE they get one. And I didn’t say it was humane for people to drop off their pets…they should make other arrangements. But I did say it was more humane to shoot them than let them starve to death.

    3. MARK says:

      Elaine, you’re a despicable human being.

      1. Elaine says:

        The despicable ones are those who drop off their pets! Or worse
        yet those who neglect their animals! I believe in taking good care
        of critters you have, and if you can’t you should find them a good home.

    4. Todd says:

      I REALLY don’t like people like you. YOUR kind are the problem in this world. No heart what so ever! Animals have feelings and emotions too! Imagine if it was people dropping off their kids to be shot just because it’s cheaper! That’s different? Really, why…because were are humans? WHO CARES! Just because we have evolved more doens’t make the animals ANY less worthy of living! I would hate to live your life….

    5. Kay says:

      I hope someone brings you out back and shoots you, Elaine.

      1. Elaine says:

        Good grief! That was an uncalled for violent comment. I’m not the one
        dropping off pets nor am I the one shooting them!

    6. Justsaying724 says:

      You are a sick person. Obviously an ANIMAL HATER! I have no time for people like you. Maybe you should be shot!

      1. justsaying724 says:

        Sorry, my previous post was meant for ELAINE!

      2. Elaine says:

        Actually, I love animals! And I strongly believe they should be treated well.
        I’m not the one dropping them off to die or be eaten. I can’t believe the hostile
        and extreme posts on here by people who think I should be shot!

    7. Michelle says:

      What a warm, fuzzy woman you are! Cats and dogs are wonderful, loving creatures with feelings, believe it or not, and it’s terrible that so many wonderful pets have lost their homes due to this economy. I think there is something really wrong with a person who feels no compassion towards animals.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    It’s so sad that people will take a “beloved” pet and drop it off at a shelter because they say they “don’t have enough time” to properly care for the pet. So you think the shelters do? I wonder if these people explain to their kids that Snowball or Blackie might be euthanized because they don’t have the time to play with him or let him outside to pee. Kind of sad when you think about it – they give the pets away, insisting it is better for the pet. Worst part is, I think some of them believe it. I had to rehome two cats when my son was born terribly allergic (we’re talking constant hives and vomiting, not the sniffles) … I found good loving homes for them in less than 48 hours. It has been four years and they are both still in the homes I placed them in. It can be done, but seriously, if you love your pet and can keep them – switch to a cheaper food and learn to accept that your dog will not be the one who goes on runs with his owner – he is still going to be happy to live in your home rather than a shelter. Unless really your real reason is that you don’t want to care for the animal, and in that case – fine. But call it what it is.

  3. moniemonie says:

    so put them down? why create a problem. i?

    1. Bill says:

      I’d rather put the person down.

      1. red says:

        I agree-! Pets are loving and loyal. It broke my heart when we had to putting down our 15 year old dog that we adopted when she was 4. That was 3 years ago and I still miss her. Elaine- you are sick!

  4. Tom says:

    @ red

    It is not easy putting a pet down. I sobbed when we had to put our pet cat “Dusty” down because of kidney failure. We had him for 15 years and we adopted him back in 1996 when he was 3.

  5. jan says:

    Elaine, I pity you because you’ll never experience the unconditional love, devotion and companionship an animal gives to its human family.

    1. Elaine says:

      Say what? I’ve owned cats, dog, and one incredible horse. I’m not the one
      dropping pets off…nor am I the one shooting them!

  6. rml says:

    Pet owners need to be more responsible, and also need to think before getting a pet. Too many people think pets are throw-away objects. I hope they can find homes for these animals, or come up with something other than euthanasia. Way too many people buy pets for the wrong reasons. The pet bunnies at Easter time being one of them, and I hold all pet stores accountable for that at Easter time. And people are breeding way too many dogs. More people need to spay and neuter, especially cats, way too many are not spayed or neutered.

  7. T says:

    Listen to all of you. You pet people are FREAKS. We have a huge issues with pets in this country and they can not all be saved. They’re animals people. I personaly will never have an animal dictate anything to do with my schedule. Same thing with TV. I’m not an animal hater but I’m against pets. There are good pet owners out there but more people get pets for the wrong reason than the right one that’s for sure.

    1. Nikki says:

      Yeah, & hopefully you aren’t a pet owner T. There are plenty of people in this world who love & respect animals, so you worry about your ‘schedule’ & leave the caring for creatures to us humans.

    2. Jim says:

      You’re an animal too, genius.

  8. Tom says:

    Okay okay I have a solution…Food shortage and pet over crowding, lets eat them.

  9. Sam says:

    The thing that sickens me most about this, aside from the people who think the solution is simply to kill more animals (I set those people aside in my mind because there are always the simple-minded who believe that any problem can be solved by just killing more), is that this is a solvable problem.

    Spay/neuter. Don’t let an un-fixed pet wander around outdoors (better yet, don’t let your pet wander at all). Cities go in for spay-and-release programs, rather than continuing to sink money into the endless cycle of catching strays and bringing them to shelters.
    But this requires people to think beyond themselves, and it’s not going to happen. People are always going to want to save that little bit of cash, or think it would be cute to have a litter of kittens/puppies around, and so our shelters are always going to be full.

  10. obv. says:

    The problem is you worthless people who let your cats and dogs wander the streets un-fixed, you people make me sick because you’re to f-ing lazy or cheap to get them fixed, sometimes having numerous litters. If you let animals run the streets they’ll breed like people of color.

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