Pet surrenders increase with job loss - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pet surrenders increase with job loss

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- With unemployment so high, many are cutting costs wherever they can. Sometimes that includes a pet, and man's best friend can sometimes take a backseat.

David Summers never thought he would own a dog.

"When i saw him i knew that i loved him," said Summers.

In fact, he wanted a cat until he met Sam at the Dubuque Humane Society.

"They had to leave him behind because they has to move somewhere where they couldn't have a pet," said Summers.

But according to President Jane McCall, more people are surrendering their pets, but for a different reason.

"We have seen more "can't afford." we have to moved, we are seeing more of those reasons. We've taken in 120 more this eyear than we did a year ago," said McCall.

She says recent layoffs and a bad economy make owning a pet difficult for some.

"It's very difficult to work at our front desk because people come in sobbing, they lsot heir jobs, they have to move, the reasons they ahve to surrender their pets is so sad and your heart goes out to them," said McCall.

On the flip side -- McCall says as surrenders increase, so do adoptions. But a pet can be expensive. Summers says he has to make room in his budget.

"I've actually been surprised at the cost of a dog. It can be expensive with a big dog like same cause he eats a lot of food. But over all by budgeting it hasn't been to terrible to take care of him," said Summers.

For whatever reason, the homeless pets are finding new families. And people like Summers are willing to make room.

"When you have a pet like sam, he really does become a part of you family," said Summers.

McCall says they donate pet food to the food bank in Dubuque to try to eliminate pet surrenders.

If you're interested in adopting or surrendering your pet you can visit their website at

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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