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Chicago Tribune

Mortgage crisis bites pets;
Animals lose families as owners lose homes


By Mary Umberger, TRIBUNE REPORTER

The tentacles of the foreclosure monster reach all the way into a Naperville animal shelter, where McKenzie and Rocket are its collateral damage.

The doggie duo -- a black Labrador retriever and a shiba inu -- wound up there a few days ago, when their owners, facing the loss of their home, gave up the pets to the shelter.

"We're seeing quite a few animals being surrendered due to economic reasons, including foreclosure," said Angie Wood, assistant executive director of the Naperville Area Humane Society, which, in addition to McKenzie and Rocket, is sheltering Bailey, a foreclosure cat.

"We're seeing people in bad financial situations who are moving to places where they can't have pets," she said. "There definitely has been an increase in the past six months to a year."

Though numerous shelters say they're not seeing a correlation between foreclosures and animal surrenders, others report a definite spike.

"We're probably getting 25 [animals] a week coming to us for those reasons," said Terri Sparks, a spokesman for The Animal Welfare League in Chicago, which works with 53 municipalities on animal-control issues. "It's probably increased a lot in the past six to seven months."

Linda Gelb, president of Community Animal Rescue Effort, which works through the Evanston Animal Shelter, said her group has taken in four dogs in the past three weeks because their owners were losing their homes.
 

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Oh yes it could, just think of all those rods that are getting thrown away just because they are moving to smaller places no garage means no where to put all their fishing gear.
 
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