The recession has affected everyone in New York City in some way, and now even lost pets will encounter a more difficult road home.
Due to deep budget cuts, New York City Animals Care and Control has stopped taking lost pet reports, and starting Dec 1, will no longer search their facilities for missing pets.
The Animal Care and Control staff will make exceptions for disabled pet owners. The staff will also contact owners of pets that have ID tags or have microchips.
The dogs and cats brought into shelters are held for 72 hours and then put up for adoption. Animals thought to be sick or unadoptable face being euthanized.
Animal advocates and rescuers fear that lost pets could end up being adopted or euthanized before they’re found by their owners.
"This is going to really affect pet owners and end up with animals dying who did have homes," said Jane Hoffman of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, a coalition of rescue groups.
Owners will now be instructed to visit the three shelters in NYC to find their missing pet. Animal Care and Control will also post pictures of animals that are brought in on their website.
The budget for the nonprofit has been slashed by $1.5 million over the past two years.
Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/meironke