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Nearly half in the U.S. would save a dog before a foreigner

By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Aug. 19, 2013 at 8:41 AM
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A bus is speeding toward a dog and a human. Which do you save?

If you're like the 500 respondents in the George Regents University study, you might ask, "what kind of human and what kind of dog?"

When the human in the hypothetical scenario is a sibling, grandparent or close friend, everyone would rather save the human than a strange dog.

But when given the choice of saving their own pet pooch over a distant cousin or local stranger, votes to save the dog began to increase.

When given the choice between saving their own dog versus a saving a foreign tourist, 40 percent overall chose to save their pet, and a whopping 46 percent of women chose Fido over a foreign human.

The study, conducted by Richard Topolski, is one demonstration Americans' love for their pets.

Nearly three-quarters of American households own the roughly 218 million pets nationwide pets, not including millions of fish.

The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans will spend almost $56 billion on their pets in 2013, and just $14 billion of that number goes toward veterinary care.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics even a recession won't lead Americans to cut back on pet spending, even as they cut back on other expenses. BLS says people spend more each year on pets than on alcohol or men's clothing.

Pet food alone costs the average household $183 annually -- more than chicken, cereal, bread and candy.

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