OKLAHOMA CITY -- A down economy always has people looking for ways to save.
Sometimes when it comes to saving, our pets have to be sacrificed.
The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter said they frequently find abandoned pets hanging out at area lakes but city officials tell us there is a better option.
It's not a new problem but one city officials said they constantly battle.
OKC Animal Shelter's Jon Gary said, "Unfortunately, there is dumping of cats and dogs. Cats seems more prevalent."
The city has a program to tag, neuter and release the cats allowing them to live around the lakes without reproducing.
Volunteers even feed those animals.
It keeps them out of a shelter where they may otherwise be euthanized.
As for the dogs, once caught, those animals end up at the city animal shelter.
The city takes in nearly 28,000 animals a year, some strays and some surrendered by their owners.
Gary said, "We never recommend anyone dump their animal."
Have a pet you feel you cannot keep?
If you live in Oklahoma City, take it to the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter.
During their working hours you can go to the front desk to surrender the animal.
At night, when workers aren't there, they leave cages open.
You just place the animal in the cage, shut the door, locking the animal in, and it will be safe until shelter staff returns.
Gary said, "It is unfortunate. We prefer they be brought in to the shelter. It gives the animal a better chance of survival."
While Oklahoma City is not currently a no-kill shelter, they do work with nearly 100 rescues to find homes for as many of the animals as possible.
The shelter hopes to someday become a no-kill shelter.
If you do drop your pet off after hours, they ask to leave a little information about the animal, including the animal's age and any medical history or behavioral problems.
Leaving that information will help them to place the pet with a potential adoptive family.
Looking to adopt a pet? Find your new best friend in this gallery of adoptable pets.