“Pet shelters struggle with glut of cats, dogs; Weak economy means more abandoned.” By John M. Guilfoil. Boston Globe. December 26, 2011. Donations to people charities are way down this year, and that’s a terrible sign for animal charities. Donations to major non-profits that deal with animals are down more than 50 percent this holiday season, compared to last year. And the rate of abandoned animals is skyrocketing as strapped owners can no longer accord to care for their pets.