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As Economy Falters, More People Giving Up Pets

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Associated Press: A growing number of Americans are giving up their dogs and cats to animal shelters as the emotional bonds between people and pets get tested by the economy.

From the Malvern, Pa., man who turned his two dogs over in order to help pay for his mother's cancer treatments to the New York woman who euthanized her cat rather than keeping it alive with expensive medications, rising economic anxieties make it increasingly difficult for some pet owners to justify spending $1,000 a year or more on pet food, veterinary services and other costs.

The population growth at animal shelters in Connecticut, Nebraska, Texas, Utah and other states shows how the weak economy is also shrinking the pool of potential adopters. And it coincides with a drop-off in government funding and charitable donations.

"It's definitely discouraging for us," said Adam Goldfarb, a Humane Society spokesman. "One of our major goals is to develop and celebrate the bond between people and animals. It's so tragic when families reach a point when they can't afford to care for their pets."

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