In yet another sign of the foreclosure mess, animal shelters in the Midwest are filling up with thousands of pets suddenly without homes.

Take the Golden Valley-based shelter system run by the Animal Human Society. It's become a magnet for animals from the Upper Midwest, where smaller shelters are often overcrowded.

Society officials say their five metro-area shelters have taken in nearly 18,000 animals this year, up 7 percent from last year. At the same time, adoptions have fallen by almost 3 percent.

And it's not just dog and cats.

An official says in recent months they have been getting more inquiries from hobby farm owners who can't afford their horses and donkeys.

Those animals are too big for most shelters, so the owners are steered toward specialized rescue groups.