Personal money issues creating more returned pets - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Personal money issues creating more returned pets

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PASCO, Wash. -- Animal shelters are constantly trying to move dogs and cats out of their buildings through adoptions.

But some are seeing a disturbing trend, more and more pets are being returned by their owners.

The reason boils down to money. Animals cost a lot of it from food to vaccinations. Places like the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter in Pasco tell me they're seeing more animals come through the door.

To give some perspective on the problem, there were only 10 animal surrenders last year. Half way through 2012, there's already 26.

Some stories workers are hearing include job losses, reduced hours, or losing a home.

"People have lost homes, they've had to move into smaller homes than what they had before which if they have pets can be a problem," explains Angela Zilar, director of the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter.

Zilar adds some owners lie about the reason they're returning animals so they can get out of paying for updated vaccination shots.

The shelter offers free food that's donated for owners having trouble paying for a steady supply for their pet. But Zilar says the number of people taking advantage of that option has also increased.