Housing Bubble Burst Affects Bay Area Pets

 |  Feb 12th 2009  |   0 Contributions

Several years ago naysayers routinely claimed that the San Francisco Bay Area had no bubble in home prices. Now, as year-on-year price declines accelerate everywhere, even the most ardent deniers are silent.

I never believed that San Francisco would escape the housing price declines occurring across the country and around the world. However, I did hope that we would escape one of the unfortunate consequences of the bubble that has been noted in many other places: an upsurge in unwanted pets.

Sadly, we have not. The San Francisco Weekly reports in its February 11 - 17, 2009 issue that, in fact, it is not different here.

Recession horror stories now have new victims: pets. Animal rescue organizations in the Bay Area say they have been getting more and more calls from people who say they can't keep their furry friends mostly dogs after losing their homes.

The article continues:

Reports of people giving up or abandoning pets because of foreclosures or financial troubles have plagued other cities in the Bay Area and the Central Valley since the beginning of 2008. But by late summer, these recession pet stories began popping up in San Francisco. "People didn't call and say they were foreclosed and had to move or couldn't keep their dog before," Pat Goldberg of Rocket Dog Rescue says. "Now it's pretty frequent."

The trend has been on display at the city's animal shelter, which has seen a dramatic rise in owners giving up their pets. Through August, the shelter took in 11 percent more animals than the year before; by November, the year-over-year rate had jumped to 20 percent. And the problem is still growing. Last month, 35 percent more animals were surrendered than at the same time a year ago. "It had been trickling in, but now there's more and more coming in," said Deb Campbell, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Animal Care and Control.

Of course I am surprised that financially motivated animal surrender has become so common. But I realize that I live in an insulated world. I write for a website dedicated to people who are extraordinarily committed to their furry friends.

It is very sad that pets have become such frequent victims of this financial downturn.

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