Many people were struggling to pay bills and keep jobs. Extra funds shrunk substantially and investing money into a living animal just meant a large over time investment. Not only do the initial fees have to be paid, but the animal will constantly need to be fed, have vet bills, and need toys. It was just not worth taking on an extra monthly expense when funds were not always guaranteed.
Even for people that donated to charities on a regular basis, the uncertainty that went along with the recession greatly reduced the available extra money that people could afford to give away to shelters. This means that animal adoptions and incoming donations decreased. Shelters have more animals and fewer supplies to help take care of them. The number of volunteers also shrunk as people picked up extra hours or a second job. Shelters became overcrowded and have only recently been able to begin taking in animals again as space has opened up. It has been a snowball effect.
As people being to accumulate extra funds that can be donated without having negative effects, the employees at Specialty have decided to give back. Shelters are still stressed for funds and supplies even during the best of times so every little bit helps. All money raised will be split and donated to the local animal shelters.