Along with their owners, a large number of pets these days are finding themselves on the streets - as homeless, hungry, innocent victims of the economic slump.
The global crisis has hit China's pets as hard as anyone.
In the south Chinese city of Guangzhou, the Private Pets Home and the Home for Stray Animals are "overcrowded" with pets abandoned by their owners, the China Daily reported Wednesday.
The Guangzhou Pets Association has seen a 20-percent rise from last year in the number of people seeking new owners for their four-legged loved ones, according to the paper.
"I had to give eight dogs to friends last year," said Wu Yongxian, a Guangzhou animal lover, who is now down to just three canines.
"I don't buy dog food now but just feed them my leftovers instead," a sobbing Wu told the paper.
Meanwhile, the price of new pets has plummeted as economic constraints force Chinese families to cut back on luxury items.
Until recently, a dog would cost up to 8,000 yuan (1,170 dollars), but could now be bought for 3,000 yuan, the paper said.
Pet ownership has exploded in China in recent years as rising middle class incomes have allowed people to afford more than mere necessities.
Strict population policies limiting couples in cities to just one child have also made it more attractive to keep pets.