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As mounting layoffs and foreclosures have caused many middle-class Americans to lose their economic footing, some are parting with their pets, a trend that has sent a tide of displaced dogs and cats to rescue groups and county animal shelters around the country, officials said.
“One lady was crying to me today and said: ‘I’ve either got to feed my kid or feed my dog. What would you do?’ ” said Shari Johannes, owner of Dog Pack Rescue, a “no kill” shelter in Kingston, Ga., that keeps animals until they are adopted.