In hard times, pets of economically unfit owners suffer
People who can't find a way to shave $50 off of their monthly budget to take care of their pets are simply abandoning them. There's a 1/2 chance that these will be euthanized.
When I am elected dictator, not only will the stupid be prevented from breeding, but they won't be allowed to be in charge of animal life either. As humiliating to the animals' self-esteem as upper-class pet fashions may be, at least they're not in the pitiable state that animals in lower-class areas are. If you've been through a poor area and seen the scrawny dogs and cats whose fur is stained by filth, you know what I mean.
How long will the recession last -- two years, if it's as bad as the early '80s? So you go into minor debt at worst for two years, and then pay it back in better times. I'm sure your pets will be thankful when they're still living. Goddamnit, what's next -- abandoning your kids because you can't afford diapers for two years?
If there's any justice in the world, the abandoned pets will sense what's up, turn on their owners, and feed off of their obese carcasses until they can find adopters.