Pet ownership on the decline nationally, Cleveland is exception

Cleveland still loves their pets

CLEVELAND, Oh - The American Veterinary Medical Association has declared the pet population in the United States is shrinking.

Americans owned 7.6 million fewer cats and 2 million fewer dogs at the end of 2011 compared to the end of 2006.

Pets of all kinds have been on the rise since 1986. When the VMA completed its most recent count, the percentage of households that owned at least one pet dropped by 2.4 percent.

The economy seems to be the blame. A rise in single people and families without children also contribute to the decline.

Don't tell Greg Schnupp, of Lakewood, about the drop is pet popularity. He recently expanded Pets General Store . The pet store has been operating for 25 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

"We are definitely doing well. In this area, we are not on the decline," said Schnupp.

On the other side of town sits Cleveland's Metrobark. For 10 years, dog owners have trusted Metrobark to take care of their pets while away at work or vacation. They have also seen a steady increase in business.

"We're seeing pet owners from all areas of Cleveland. West side, east side, south side. Business has been great," said Jillian Mazzarella, owner of Metrobark.

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