Pets Pulling Purse Strings

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The state of the economy is forcing many Americans to make sacrifices with spending, and pet owners are no exception.

Tough times have less people adopting pets and more people taking the ones they already have to shelters.

"His name's Nigel. He's a great cat and he's friendly, but he's lonely so we're trying to get a little friend so he's got somebody to play with while we're gone," Colby Ferraris said.

He and Stephanie Ware would love to adopt another cat, and with more people bringing their pets to the Humane Society, they have a lot to choose from.

"October 2008 vs. October 2007, we had about 60 more owner releases to the shelter," Maryann Hollis, executive director of the Humane Society of Parkersburg, said. "We did get one dog with a gash in her shoulder and they couldn't afford to treat her, so we took her in, took her to the vet and got her treated."

And when pets pull purse strings a little too tight, even the biggest animal lovers can't be too picky.

"If more of them were spade or neutered, we'd probably grab the one we want right now, but that's the question. Do we want to spend 60 to 100 bucks to do that or adopt one that's already neutered and spade," Ferraris said.

And until that question is answered, that's one more cat without a home.

Hollis said when owning a pet, you need to consider the cost of food, routine vet visits and of course the possibility of your pet getting sick.

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