Around 5,000 cats and dogs end up in the Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare Shelter each year.
Seven out of ten of them don't make it out.
"That's a lot of animals," says shelter director Sarah Tenon.
Patti Jones with the animal rescue group Central Georgia CARES says when the economy goes down, the number of stray animals goes up, but she's also seen more people giving up their pets and taking them to the shelter.
"One of the reasons that we hear is because of cost," adds Jones. "It surprises people a lot of times to know the cost of caring for an animal. It's not just getting an animal that's cute, you have to provide medical care, you have to provide quality food."
According to the ASPCA, a pet owner will spend between $600 and $900 a year on needs including pet food and vet bills.