January 1st, 2009
01:49 PM GMT
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HONG KONG, China – Pet lovers! What's the best way to cut your pet's expenses without compromising its health and happiness?

CNN’s Eunice Yoon meets some of the residents at the Hong Kong Animal Adoption Center.
CNN’s Eunice Yoon meets some of the residents at the Hong Kong Animal Adoption Center.

I spent an afternoon recently at the Hong Kong Animal Adoption Center where I met Bobo, a dog who had been abandoned by his owner of 14 years.

Rescuers told us Bobo's owner, an elderly lady, had lost her job and had to move into a smaller home with her son. The family of three was incredibly distraught when they dropped Bobo off at the center. Apparently, their new apartment building wouldn't allow dogs.

The family also, according to the rescuers, just couldn't afford taking care of Bobo anymore. They begged the center to take him in. "It was him or us," they explained.

After he was abandoned, rescuers say Bobo stopped eating and drinking. His fur started falling out and he would constantly gnaw at his paws out of nervousness. Bobo had "given up on himself."

Bobo is now adjusting to his new life at the center. However, abandonment is a stressful ordeal often for everyone involved.

So do any of you have tips to help keep more pets and their financially-strained families together?

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Anne C

    I have two dogs and I cannot imagine my life without them. I would do my utmost to keep them.

    January 1, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. Isabella Baer

    In these times of financial struggle, I've found a way to lower the cost of feeding my dog, Pippo. I boil inexpensive pasta or rice with chicken skins the butcher saves for me (free), plus scraps of the fresh vegetables we use in our chicken soup, and I've saved quite a bit of money this way. The dog is very happy and healthy with this diet!

    January 1, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  3. Paul

    Would they abondon thier kids in tough times? This is no different to me. They should never have had the pet to begin with. It's despicable. They should at least try to find the animal a home, not just abondon it to die a slow painful death.

    January 1, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  4. Pamela Buckner

    We live in the USA, where food is plentiful and even here we see many animals abandoned, some due to hardship, others due to irresponsible owners.

    Part of the problem lies with landlords who can arbitrarily decide that pets aren't welcome. This is remarkably unfair as most pets do not damage homes and the few who do cause landlords to react with this knee-jerk response of disallowing all animals, dooming many to death.

    Our family has two dogs and a cat. We are not wealthy, we live on my husband's military income and I work part time. We rent our home and were blessed to find landlords who are dog lovers themselves. This can make all the difference in the world to a family, whose guardian, companion and bed-warmer depend on the will of the landlord!

    **If you own property that you rent to others, have compassion for God's furry children, especially now when so many of us are at your mercy...**

    January 1, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  5. Maria Isabel

    I'm in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro. Here we have "Suipa", which is a shelter for animals. In addition to shelter, the "Suipa" provides outpatient services at prices popular, so that disadvantaged people, can take care of your best friends. Places like "Suipa" may be a solution, both as a place to leave the aninal as a place of popular services.

    The important thing is that people are aware and are concerned about the welfare of the animal. If the person is unable to stay with your pet, find a place for him to be sure he will be well treated and happy. Not be able to stay with the animal does not mean you abandon your own luck or never see him again.

    Happy is the man that one day changed your daily life to save a life – be it human or not human.

    January 1, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  6. Nina Gomez

    I keep my dog happy and healthy by doing what I have always done and not over doing my spending habits. For starters I use Philippine Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) as my veterinarians and the cost of health care for my 2 dogs is kept at a reasonable amount. Also, since my dogs are small indoor dogs they do not require large amounts of money for dog food. It's important to economize wherever we can. I think giving up your beloved pet should be a last resort.

    January 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm |
  7. Ophir

    Evidently, most of us are exposed to life’s ups-and-downs, financial turmoil bring us to the brink of desperation.
    Four years ago, I took-in a stray dog that appeared to have suffered abuse. I named him Schatz. With loving care good food and treatment a few months later emerged new dog, from a beaten, sorry looking and low confidence emerged a beautiful jet black shining hair a 45kg powerful and loyal dog, maybe the best protector I ever had.
    On one of our evening walks about a year down the time line, we ran in to another stray dog, this time it was a female puppy about 3 months old looking like a Doberman or Rottweiler. Afraid that she would be run over by passing cars I took her with us with the intention to look for her rightful owners.
    Another year goes by and I fall into a financial distress almost overnight… with no income…I could afford to eat only rice and beans electricity was cut off and bills were mounting up. This lasted for several months…
    The one thing I would never give up on… was my Schatz (German Sheppard) and Cleo (Doberman). They are loyal, they are a comfort zone… they are me…

    January 1, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  8. Kaonashi

    We have a whippet, Devo, who EATS – he runs six or eight miles a day. We've found that many butcher shops and fishmongers here in Japan are happy to hand off their scraps for free – and Devo loves them. Just before New Years, we received an entire yellowtail spine with plenty of meat on it; frozen, it will last quite a while.

    January 2, 2009 at 4:44 am |
  9. Ms. Louie Cordero

    This is a sad and unfortunate story for Bobo. Pets are part of our family and should be treated as such. It is like having another child. So, if your family is having financial problems, would you give up one of your child for adoption because you could not afford to support the child, or would you find ways (like additional job, etc.) to support alll your children?

    Bobo only has a few more years to live. The family could have done more or find other ways to be able to keep him with them.

    I would never give up my pets, especially if they have been with me and giving me their unconditional love for years. Pets deserve more than that.

    My heart goes out to all the Bobo's of the world. May luck smile at them and give them a second chance to find better owners.

    January 2, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  10. Alan

    Having lived with dog breeder for a long time, firstly the you can dramatically reduce the cost of your pets up keep by buying dry food in bulk, it can be nutritional balanced and if far cheaper than the branded canned versions.

    January 2, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  11. Valonka Gill

    I feel saddened by the above news item and honestly wish I could take in all such abandoned pets. The truth is, however, most of us, while being ardent animal/pet lovers, cannot afford to do so. In my own case, I still live in a rented room (in Singapore) and, therefore, am, myself, at the mercy of the landlord/lady. However, perhaps it may be possible for animal lovers to band together and "share" the costs of taking care of such beloved pets who deserve much better.

    What if we could have a list available of apartments/landlords who do allow their tenants to keep their pets with them? Also, what are the possible reasons why pets are not allowed – hygiene concerns, religious beliefs, other reasons?

    Lastly, are there any animal rights organizations/groups that may consider providing some financial assistance to owners who do NOT abandon their pets even though they are financially-strapped? I, for one, wouldn't mind donating an affordable (for me) sum each month to such a worthy cause.

    January 2, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  12. Ann Carpenter

    Families should do everything possible to stay together – this includes family pets – they too are part of the family. Bobo's owners should have looked for a house that accepted pets – and I believe that if there is enough food on the table for a three there is also for four i.e. Bobo.

    January 2, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  13. Nam(South Korea)

    Hi, Eunice.

    This is a very bad situation for these dogs.

    But I have an idea.

    Bailout them.

    January 4, 2009 at 6:04 am |
  14. d. griffith

    I remember when owning a pet was simple and pleasant. Owning a dog was too part of the American dream. I remember when every child wanted a dog like Lassie. Because man has destroyed the economy, now both man and dog need best friends.

    January 5, 2009 at 2:26 am |

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