Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Homeless pets still need to eat

December 3, 2008

With foreclosures of homes on the rise, so are stories of pet abandonment, but pet food maker Del Monte says sales of dog and cat food and treats hasn’t been affected.

The New Haven Register in Connecticut reported on Nov. 23 of a dramatic rise in pet abandonment at shelters across the city, as adjustable mortgage rate resets make mortgages on many homes unaffordable, and rising food costs make paying for pet food and upkeep unrealistic.

And on Nov. 16, The Boston Globe said a record number of cats are being dropped off at local animal shelters. A Humane Society official attributed the record numbers to the faltering economy and people losing their homes. 

Higher animal abandonments have hit Canada as well, according to a Nov. 7 article in the Albuquerque Journal (subscription required).

Still, pet food company Del Monte, maker of Meow Mix cat food and dog treats like Meaty Bone and Pupperoni,  says they haven’t seen a meaningful drop in pet food sales in recent months.

“We have not seen any hard data that would indicate household pet ownership to be declining, and so anecdotally we’ve heard about pets being left in foreclosed homes and that sort of thing, but we have not seen any data or seen any evidence with our customers that that really is a problem,” Del Monte Chief Executive Richard Wolford said on a call with analysts.”

Whether they’re in a family home or living in an animal shelter, dogs and cats still have to eat.


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