Animal shelters also affected by economic downturn

Meet Zayda, Baby and Duke. They are among the newest ‘‘poster children’’ for the disastrous eco­nomic climate as people are increasingly surren­dering their pets to shel­ters while struggling to make ends meet.

‘‘People are losing their homes, or have been forced to downsize to apartments where pets are not allowed, or they have lost their jobs and can’t afford to feed their animals. It’s heart­breaking,’’ said Mary Alano, animal attendant and supervisor at the Ocean County Animal Fa­cility-North in Jackson, where the three dogs are housed for the time being.

Justin England, animal control officer for the Som­erset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, said his shelter has also seen an influx of surrenders due to the econ­omy.

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