Wiregrass Newsroom: Economy forcing owners to take pets back

Dothan, AL (WSFA) -- John Claybrook and his son Hunter are going against the norm.

"Looking for another member of the family," says Claybrook.

While many are bringing pets back to animal shelters, John and his son are hoping to take one home.  And luckily for the Claybrooks, the family budget supports another family member.

"The expense is not enough from where it would detract from us getting another dog. I'm blessed right now to have a good job, a steady job, so it's not that much of a consideration," says Claybrook.

But for some, that's not the case.

"We have people everyday trying to bring them up here," says Judith Ferguson, a kennel worker at the Wiregrass Humane Society.

Kennel workers say they can see up to five owners wanting to drop off pets each day. And it's all because money is tight.

"We try to take as many as we can. We do have long waiting lists right now. Unfortunately, we can only take so many because if we overcrowd the shelter it makes unsafe living conditions for the ones we have here now," says Ferguson.

Workers say most of the shelters around the Wiregrass are filled to capacity. But they say, luckily, there are other things you can do if you need to find a good home for your pet.

"There's a lot of vet offices that will let you put up ads for your animals," says Ferguson.

Workers also suggest contacting local newspapers. They say many offer free advertising space for pet owners.

Ferguson's advice?

"Be persistent.  Try to find them a home."

For one lucky dog, a home is on its way at the Claybrooks.  But for another, the shelter may be its next stop.

Reporter: Melissa McKinney