Dunno if you've seen this, but it looks like the economy has definitely affected pet ownership.
Americans own 2MM fewer dogs and over 7MM fewer cats than they did in 2006. Not a shock.
What should be shocking (but isn't) is that people are spending more on vets than ever. Dog owners spent 18.6% more in 2011 than 2006, a huge increase, especially given the lower ownership. Expenses for cats rose 4.2%.
There really needs to be something done. Vet expenses are insane. People don't bat an eye to pay when Dr. XXX says Muffy needs x-rays. MRI's and surgery's when Muffy is hurting, because our pets are our children... but unless these costs get under control (and vets become more human), pet ownership will continue to fall.
Stewie to the Rescue