Since you're always haranguing us to show more pictures of puppies, here you go…but it goes with a totally depressing story about the recession. According to the Associated Press, pets have been some of the the littlest, non-human victims of skyrocketing food prices and the housing crisis. The AP digs up a tearful grandma, Diana Bardsley of Franklin, Massachusetts, whose Social Security income doesn't stretch far enough to feed her spaniel and her two Siamese cats. "I know a lot of people will probably say, 'Well, if you don't have enough money to be able to feed your animals, that you shouldn't have pets,'''Bardsley says, and adds, "Just because financially you may go downhill a little or a lot, doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up the part of your family that you love." If that little anecdote doesn't crack your stony exterior, maybe this will.

The recent spate of foreclosures has led many Americans to abandon their pets, according to Brian Adams, spokesman for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "We've seen where people have abandoned dogs in the house, we've seen dogs that have been surviving for weeks on toilet water, we've seen dogs that have either been chained up outside or left in the yard when the people have left, we've seen cats who are just set free,'' Adams says.

Petco has begun to establish a foundation to give grants to shelters to help take care of all the pets displaced because of the foreclosure crisis. And you can always help by giving cold, hard cash to your local shelter or taking in a pet yourself. The famed Winston and Edie are both shelter/ rescue pets! You, too, could be the pet-mom to a semi-incontinent terrier or an adorably alien looking kitty of your own.

Demand Spikes At Pet Food Banks, Discount Vets [AP via MSNBC]