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Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dogs latest victims of financial crisis

November 2, 2008

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— It's not just people worrying about losing their homes amid the global economic downturn. Now, even Taiwanese canines face being dumped from their dog houses.

Coinciding with the local stock market plunge and a jump in the jobless rate in Taiwan, animal rescuers say more and more dogs are being abandoned as owners look for ways to cut expenses.

Taking note of the problem, authorities in the capital, Taipei, are trying to keep better track of dogs and their owners in a bid to prevent abandonment.

Tung Kuan-fu, chief executive of the Taiwan Life Caring and Animal Rescue Organization, said his group has seen a marked increase in the number of dogs it has treated since the downturn began, especially larger breeds.

He said in the last three months his organization saved about 30 large stray dogs, including Old English sheepdogs and golden retrievers, compared to 10 in the three months before that.

"Large dogs tend to be thrown away during a slowing economy," Tung said, explaining that owners can save $150-$300 a month by abandoning them.

Taiwan has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, with the local stock index plummeting 46 percent from its peak in May and unemployment jumping to 4.27 percent in September, high for Taiwan.

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