“Strays, shelters feeling delayed bite of recession.” By Marisol Bello. USA Today. November 5, 2010. More private animal shelters are not accepting strays as they fill up with animals abandoned because their owners cannot afford to keep them. No one tracks how many shelters do not take strays, but “we are seeing more of it, especially with the economy,” says Pam Burney, vice president for community initiatives with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Non-profit shelters are looking at the resources they have available.” The shelters are reaching capacity because more people who are losing jobs or homes are abandoning their cats and dogs, Burney says. Animals are dropped off by the owners or picked up on the street by the public or animal control officers. Shelters are ending their contracts with municipalities to get stray animals off the streets. That has put pressure on cities, also feeling budget constraints, to find other places for the animals, says Debbie Dawson, senior animal control officer in Edmonds, Wash., who is president of the National Animal Control Association.