Even pets are not immune to the tough economy and as more families struggle to make ends meet, more and more are forced to leave their animals behind or drop them off at the local animal shelter.
Tuesday, Crye-Leike realtors donated $500 and car loads of supplies to the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter, a local shelter that has seen an influx of animals in the slumping economy.
The realtors said they've witnessed the effects of the economy first-hand, having found animals left at homes that have been foreclosed on.
"A lot of people are bringing [in their pets] claiming that they are strays [because] they don't have the heart to tell us that they are dropping them off," said Sgt. Keith Voumans with the Mt. Juliet Police Department. "Sometimes you can tell and it's sad. People are giving up family members. They simply can't afford to pay for them."
The Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter opened in December. It's donations that keep it going.
"The food is donated. The bedding is donated. The litter is donated. Everything has been donated by the community. It's been wonderful," said Sgt. Voumans. "Since we opened the doors December 13 we have raised $9,000."
Shelter employees said most of the animals dropped off are adopted and they keep the prospective pets as long as they believe they can be adopted.
While a shelter should be the "last case scenario", Sgt. Voumans says it's better than the alternative.
"If it comes down to the point where the animal is not receiving the care it deserves, then you need to find him another home," he said.
Nearly 100 animals have been adopted since the shelter opened.
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