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petdumping300.jpg Submitted by Hailey Winslow on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 2:22pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We all know the economy is hurting our pocketbooks, but it's also taking a big toll on animals. Many people can't afford to take care of their pets anymore, so they just dump them. New Hanover County Animal Control Services has nearly 100 animals at its shelter right now. More than half of the animals were surrendered by their owners. "Recently we had some customers come in stating they had lost their home, and they no longer had anywhere to actually house themselves or their pets," Animal Control Supervisor Daisy Brown said. It's not just because of the economy. This time of year college students out for the summer often leave their pets behind. "My roommate went out of the country for the summer pretty much, and I told him I would take care of the dog," Taylor Camp said, "but it turns out he doesn't keep her updated, and I can't afford to do that. And he's busy as is, so when he comes back, he'll be unable to take care of her." Taylor Camp worries if she turns Lola in, the dog will be put to sleep. After the animals have been processed through the system, strays are given three days. If they're well-groomed and microchipped, they get five days. "We work with rescue groups here in the area to have them relocated, and then our last resort would be to humanely euthanize them if they cannot adopt," Brown said. If you would like to adopt an animal the shelter at 180 Division Drive will be back open for business Tuesday at noon. To adopt an animal at New Hanover County Animal Control Services costs residents $70 and non-residents $60. The fee covers spay or neutering and the animal's first set of shots. For more information, call the shelter at (910) 798-7500.

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