Animal Drop Boxes and the Economic Recession

Katy Steere

Dog left in drop box in Sacramento, CA

As more and more Americans face poverty and homelessness during this economic recession, their pets are being left at after hours shelter drop boxes in droves. Foreclosure pets make up a great number of the pets surrendered every day. After hours drop boxes are outdoor kennels attached to shelters where people can anonymously abandon their animals when shelters are closed. Animal drop boxes are controversial because states with animal cruelty laws in place have provisions making animal abandonment illegal.

Elkhart, Indiana is one of the hardest hit recession areas in the United States. Kari Huus of writes, “Each day at five, staff members of the Humane Society of Elkhart County close the animal shelter and hold a meeting. And each day, like clockwork, they begin hearing a “thump, thump, thump” from outside.” Many of the animals being dropped off are malnourished, diseased and beyond the point of rehabilitation. The shelter is seeing an influx of 600 to 700 animals each month while the shelter only has space for 266 animals. Huus writes, “Since October 2008, the shelter has handled 5,783 animals, 42 percent of which were abandoned anonymously.” When the drop box becomes full overnight, the staff finds animals tied up outside the shelter as well as animals roaming the parking lot. Because of this overwhelming influx of animals, the shelter is euthanizing two to three times the number of animals it would in an average month. The Elkhart Humane Society is desperate for donations to help them deal with this incredible influx. 

In order to prevent more animals from being abandoned, the Humane Society of the United States has created Foreclosure Pets Funds at local society chapters. The Foreclosure Pet Funds refer people facing foreclosure to local resources that can help them keep their pets. These resources provide food, veterinary care, spay/neuter assistance, and temporary foster care. Still, these funds are limited as more and more families are feeling the recession. The Humane Society encourages pet owners to keep their pets until it is absolutely necessary to give them up because pets shouldn’t have to lose their families just because their families have lost their homes. In this holiday season, donations for the Humane Society and ASPCA can help to continue these necessary programs. Donations to the Elkhart Humane Society can be made here.

3 Responses

  1. For every animal dumped in a pound, there is a human being responsible for this animal’s suffering and neglect. How cruel! Then, the pound kills the poor dejected, needy creature. What a system?!!!! Why do citizens continue to put up with this tragedy? Why do our elected officials fail to provide refuge and shelter for abused, homeless animals? Ohhhh, yes…these poor refugees can’t vote. But we can. Call your local officials, demand true shelter and care for these helpless animals.

  2. This has to be stopped. The economy is so bad, that no one has the money or time to donate to any charities that aren’t a disease. So animals end up being killed because they don’t have a home. The upside some animals have is that they reproduce fast. So they appear more often than other animals such as dogs and cats. So its like they’re giving us a chance over and over again.

  3. I have seen homeless people with pets, they manage to feed them. And I don’t believe this Bullshit story from idiots claiming they can’t feed their pets. There are nice people in most cities who deliver free dog and cat food to your home. Contact your local shelter and ask if you qualify for help. Of course, if you don’t care about your pet, no one can help you. Idiots!

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