JACKSONVILLE,Fla. -- Nika Williams, 24, earns less than $15,000 a year, and loves her pets.
Williams said given her small income, the decision of when to buy pet food for her four pets gets difficult.
"It does get expensive," she said.
So she buys the cheapest food she can find and the smallest bags; the tight economy has placed many pet owners in a similar position.
"The need is great. Everyday, animals get turned in to our local shelters because people can't take care of their pets anymore, let alone their children," said Diane Wiles.
Wiles is with First Coast No More Homeless pets and said in 2010, they saw an increase in cases where pet owners gave up their pets.
"A lot of people were surrendering their pets because they couldn't feed them anymore," said Wiles.