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Washinton Post article regarding new trend in abandoned animals:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24023831/

"In the Montgomery shelter, about 15 percent of animals received in the past two months are a result of foreclosures or related economic dislocations, according to J.C. Crist, the county Humane Society president and chief executive. That's up from about 3 percent last year for similar reasons. The facility takes in about 700 animals a month, he said, including many from surrounding counties.

"These animals are obviously well-cared-for and socialized," Dillon said. "We haven't seen this before."

For owners who think better times may be ahead, the society has expanded its "Safe Harbor" project. The program, designed to aid domestic abuse victims, military families and others who may have to leave their homes on short notice, provides boarding and care for pets on a short-term basis.

Some pets are set loose or left behind.
The pets brought in by their distraught owners are actually the lucky ones, Crist said. More worrisome is the increasing number of animals simply set loose or left behind in empty houses by homeowners who suddenly have to move into no-pet apartments or a friend's spare room.

"We usually get the call from the bank or whoever finds it, and we go out to retrieve the animal, if it's still alive," Crist said.
 

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Alhtough this article focuses on Montgomery County, it is happening all over. The rescues and shelters are going to be even more overwhelmed in the next year or so.

I wish the owners would take some responsibility. If the have absolutely no choice but to get rid of their animals - don't leave the poor thing to fend for himself. At least make sure he is safe and has a chance at finding a new home. To lock them in an abandoned house should be a prosecutable offense.
 
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