Economy leaves more animals homeless in Tahoe Truckee area |

Economy leaves more animals homeless in Tahoe Truckee area

Foreclosures and financial woes are now responsible for the majority of local pet turn-ins, according to the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

Approximately 65 percent of the animals HSTT has received this year are directly due to the economy, the organization reported this week. In previous years, the leading causes of animal turn-ins were due to moving or pet behavior issues.

“Foreclosures, moving and job losses have forced people to give up their pets because they were left with no other choice,” said Stephanie Hiemstra, executive director of the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. “The vast majority of people relinquishing their pets are absolutely heartbroken, but they are left with no options because finding affordable places to live that are pet friendly can be a difficult and sometimes impossible task.”

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe has kept up with the increase in animals thus far because the community continues to adopt. Many of the animals turned in due to financial issues have lived in loving homes and are often trained, well-socialized and highly adoptable, which significantly increases their chances of finding a home quickly, Hiemstra said.

Animal shelters nationwide are struggling to accommodate the influx of animals due to economic challenges, and national organizations and corporations have responded accordingly. The Humane Society of the United States offered several Foreclosure Pets Grants of up to $2,000 per animal rescue organization. In addition, PETCO, a national pet supply chain, started the “We Are Family Too” fund, which offers assistance to animal rescue organizations.

If people are contemplating giving up their pet, they are urged to contact the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe at 587-5948 to discuss options.

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of pets through adoptions, community spay/neuter services and humane education programs in the Truckee and North Tahoe area. To meet adoptable dogs, go to HSTT’s Adoption Day, every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Town of Truckee Animal Kennel, or call (530) 581-3199 to schedule an appointment. To learn more about HSTT, call (530) 587-5948 or visit

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