The Furry Side of Foreclosure

By
Real Estate Agent with The Buyers' Counsel

cats and dogsThe ever-rising number of foreclosures has created a new term in the real estate lexicon: "foreclosure pets." 

Not only are distressed property owners suffering as they are being forced to vacate their homes but also a growing number of cats and dogs are being left to fend for themselves.  

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that over 1 million pets will be placed for adoption this year alone due to foreclosure.  Families who have left their homes and have entered the rental market often find that with their new landlords, pets are not welcomed. 

This requires distressed homeowners to make difficult choices.  One of them is what to do with the family cat or dog.  Often caring, but stressed-out foreclosure victims struggle to find new families for their animals or they drop them at the nearest animal shelter.  However, this is not the worse fate that can befall the family pet. 

The practice of pet abandonment is becoming more and more prevalent.  Recent reports show that for one in every five foreclosed homes, there is an animal that is being left behind.  It is a sad and growing epidemic.  Neighbors, junk haulers and often Realtors® are arriving at vacant properties only to discover a heartbreaking scene. 

These innocent victims of foreclosure are being left inside the home without food or water and in temperatures that are unsustainable.  The lack of water along with extreme heat or cold can kill an animal within a short time.  And, this type of death is far from painless. 

Some organizations have emerged to help combat the problem of pet abandonment.  One of them is "ForeclosurePets.org."  Founder, Scott Lanz has said that he was compelled to set up the website due to his love for animals. 

The purpose of his website is to connect the pets of distressed homeowners with "foster" or permanent families. The ultimate goal is to provide a free resource nationwide for homeowners to use rather than having to leave their pets high and dry.  

I called Scott today and we talked about the work that he is doing with his organization.  He describes it as a "bridge for homeowners" who are at odds about what to do with their pets.  Through this service distressed homeowners are able to upload photos and descriptions of their pets and draw the attention of people who are willing to serve as foster families for them. 

"We know that people in these situations feel like they have no other options and are heartbroken leaving their loved one behind.  But the good news is that we can help them find temporary shelters in the area for their pets until they get back on their feet or place them in a new home permanently.  There are options!" 

Foreclosure can be a traumatic for everyone involved.  But, a pet is more precious than an old sofa that needs to be discarded.  If you find yourself in this situation, please take the time to make arrangements for your pet to be cared for.

It's the right thing to do. 

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  Copyright 2009 - Claudette Millette, President, TheBuyersCounsel -  800-392-1446, E-mail    

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Ambassador
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Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

It's so nice of you to think about the little furry animals that we so love. I never thought about them but of course, they are so much a part of our lives!

Sep 23, 2009 09:29 AM #1
Rainmaker
403,509
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Loreena:

I have always loved animals and I think what is happening is a sad by-product of the foreclosure crisis.   

Sep 23, 2009 11:15 AM #2
Ambassador
976,369
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Claudette... This is such an important and timely topic.  Even with Short Sale sellers, I know the topic of what to do once they move out of their homes is always a consideration.  Thanks for shining the spotlight on this issue.

Sep 23, 2009 04:26 PM #3
Rainmaker
403,509
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Hi, Steve:

This subject tugs a my heart because of the way that I feel about animals. With all of the other difficult decisions a home owner has to face in a foreclosure (or a short sale) I just wanted people to know there are resources available that can help them to make a better choice in this matter. 

Sep 24, 2009 12:30 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,040,866
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner

Yuo know that this is a side of the business that is easily forgotten.

Thanks for the reminder

your friend in Charlottesville Virginia!

Sep 24, 2009 11:58 PM #5
Rainmaker
3,236,011
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

We rescued a pooch here....and Mr. B has a wonderful new home...his own Queen Size bed...and loves his new mistress...let's hope this is a trend to help our loyal companions everywhere !

Sep 25, 2009 12:21 AM #6
Rainmaker
545,046
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

ToulaRosebrock,com

Hi Claudette:

As you may know, I rescue dogs & cats and find homes for them...

We've been dealing with this specific issue for about a year now.

So many organizations are willing to help.  People need to reach out to us in advance and not leave their pets behind.

Sep 25, 2009 12:50 AM #7
Rainmaker
403,509
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Charles:

Your welcome.  I don't want people to forget about these innocent victims.  They deserve better.

Sally & David:

That's wonderful - his own Queen size bed.  You are good people.  Yes, I hope others follow in your lead.

Toula:

No, I did not know that.  But, I am so glad to hear about it. I hope more people become aware of this issue.  You have a big heart.  Good for you!

 

Sep 25, 2009 06:55 AM #8
Anonymous
Scott

Claudette:

www.foreclosurepets.org wants to thank you for such a great article. I think you gave great insight in surfacing the foreclosure crisis and how it's impacting pets nationwide.

 

You are more than welcome, to post your agent/broker business card information on our REALTOR section of the site.

 

Very Truly Yours,

 

Scott Lanz

Owner

www.foreclosurepets.org

 

Sep 25, 2009 11:34 AM #9
Rainmaker
403,509
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Scott:

You are more than welcome.  It was a pleasure speaking with you and I want to thank you for the good work that you are doing.  I know that it is greatly appreciated by everyone who cares about animals.

Yes, I will certainly post my business card on your website. 

 

Sep 25, 2009 02:58 PM #10
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Claudette Millette

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