If You Are A Homeowner Who Owns a Pet And You Are Facing Foreclosure

Real Estate Broker/Owner with WHISTLE STOP REALTY LLC is an organization I recommend to homeowners who are facing foreclosure and through no fault of their own cannot take their pets with them. This website offers a source of information for homeowners who are not sure who to call or what different options they have regarding what to do with their pets. They have an article titled "Tips for Homeowners With Pets When Facing Home Foreclosure " that I recommend. I usually ask during a Keys for Cash meeting if the homeowner needs this information.

We specialize in REO listings and have come across abandoned dogs and cats while in the process of listing some of these houses. Unfortunately, it is sometimes too late between the time the occupants move out and the time the property is listed to save some of these animals. It is our intent to try to find these animals homes before the house is abandoned and/or vacated As part of our commitment to help animals in need, Carol M. Johnson Realty donates 1% of every commission earned to our local animal shelter.

Ruth Vogt
Fairway Independent Mortgage, LLS. Equal Housing Opportunity. Regulated by the Division of Real Estate. - Colorado Springs, CO

I had no idea this type of organization even existed. Great info!

Jun 28, 2010 02:02 PM
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

It's pretty sad when owners leave behind pets who have loved them and are dependant on them for support.

Jun 28, 2010 05:33 PM
Robin Dampier REALTORĀ®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

It is so sad when pets are the discarded left behinds to fend for themselves.  It always amazes me that the human animal can deliberately do this after making the pet animal dependent on them.  What is further amazing is that the pet would be totally forgiving if given the chance.  Sure doesn't say any good about that human animal.  As an animal lover I'm prefudiced along those lines.

Thanks for this helpful info.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Jun 28, 2010 06:01 PM
Whistle Stop Realty LLC
Commercial/Residential Brokerage

Author's Comment

Twice I have arrived to list an REO and found pets tied up in the yard abandoned and once there were 5 cats left inside. In all 3 cases I was able to bring the animals to a local shelter to find them homes. However, the one case which still breaks my heart to this day and prompted me to write this blog is last December on the 15 of the month, I visited a foreclosed home that the bank had asked me to to an Occupancy Check on to find the occupants packing to move. They were friendly and stated they were moving to an apartment and would be out by Christmas. I noticed they had a Chihuahua would had recently given birth and they stated the mother, Sophie had given birth to 6 little ones that they had named: Ghost, Cookie, Monster, Max, Princess and Midnight. I asked if they were being taken with them and they stated yes. I left and came back with 1 Lge pet bed and 6 little pet beds that I purchased and left the occupant with a $50 Gift Card for pet food at a pet store. Over the next 10 days I drove by as the Bank requested to check the status of the move and noticed the occupant still moving. On Christmas Day, I noticed the house was vacant and decided to look inside the windows to see the condition and to my surprise, Sophie and her 6 puppies were all that was left inside all were laying in the Lge pet bed I had purchased huddled around their mother. There were bowls of pet food also. I went in through one of several open windows to find them frozen to death and called the police who contacted animal control. The furnace had been left on, but stopped working. I don't believe I could have forcibly taken these pets from this occupant prior to her moving out, but I have made it my mission to at least educate occupants who are losing their homes to foreclosure about the options they have available and that the worst thing they can do is leave an animal to starve to death or freeze to death in an abandoned home. I offer to transport animals to a shelter who cannot be kept or I have even found homes for them myself. After all, animals are not responsible for a home being foreclosed, why make them suffer for it.

Jun 28, 2010 11:29 PM
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Carol - What a great service and I hope struggling homeowners use it.  No pet should be left behind to fend for itself and ultimately die.

Jun 29, 2010 06:38 AM
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Hi Carol, this is a great thing for the pets who are caught in the unfortunate situation that is not of their making.

Jun 30, 2010 11:13 AM
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

Carol, what a terrible experience of finding those poor little helpless animals frozen to death. That seriously brought tears to my eyes. There is always a solution. Thank you for sharing this valuable information.

Jul 01, 2010 02:58 PM
Susan Emo
Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

You have provided much needed info for many.  Thank you so much!  I am flagging you.

Jul 01, 2010 03:07 PM
Lyn Sims and the Blog Dog
Streamwood, Elgin IL Real Estate - RE/MAX Suburban - Bartlett, IL

Thank you Carol for this valuable info.  I will spread the word.

Jul 03, 2010 05:56 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Carol,  Terrific bit of information !  I had no idea such a group existed.  Have a terrific 4th !!!

Jul 03, 2010 07:57 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Carol,  Thank you for posting this.  I was aware this organization existed either.

Jul 03, 2010 02:16 PM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Thanks for writing about this, Carol. There is a similar organization in Las Vegas called It's disheartening that we need groups like this, but I'm glad that someone is there to help.

Jul 03, 2010 02:24 PM
David Okada
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Service-Beyond Your Expectations

Thank you for writing about this wonderful organization. It's a shame that the pet is separated from their owner, but I am glad such organizations exist to help.

Jul 03, 2010 02:40 PM
Rebecca Gaujot, RealtorĀ®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Carol, saw where Russel Ray had reblogged this post and wanted to stop by and say thanks for this information....a great organization and glad they are helping people with their pets.

Jul 04, 2010 05:44 AM
Kristy Baker
Century 21 Act III Realty - Johnson City, TN

Thank you for writing this! I too am an reo agent and this touches my heart as well. I also walked into a home too late and found a small dog that the occupants had left behind. The poor thing had very obviously starved to death. As an animal lover, it is absolutely heartbreaking. I also recently acquired a listing that a pregnant cat had been left behind. This could have been another sad story if not for a good and vigilant neighbor who noticed she was left behind. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to leave a pet behind. There are so many resources available. At the very least every area has a local animal shelter that anyone can bring their pets to. Even if the shelter isn't a no kill shelter, at least their pets have a chance and won't die a horrible death...alone, scared, hungry, or cold.

Jul 04, 2010 06:45 AM
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

Hi, Carol. I saw this post when Russel Ray re-blogged it. I am going to re-blog as well. This should have been a Feature and I would have flagged it if I'd seen it sooner.

I had a cabin listed for a while and commented on the owner's cute kitten. A year later, the home was foreclosed and the owner is long gone, living with relatives out of state. Last week I saw her cat dash across the road so I surmised that she left it behind to fend for itself. It seemed to be in good condition so it is either fending for itself quite well or has been taken in by a nearby neighbor.

It is heartbreaking because animals have no control when the bottom drops out of their lives. Thank you for this information.


Jul 04, 2010 07:00 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Broker/Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Carol, I'm here via Russel Ray.  I truly hope that more homeowners finding themselves in similar situations will be educated by this post.  I can't help but wonder how much of a difference it will actually make though.  You would think that a caring individual or at least one with a conscience would not leave pets like this in the first place.

Jul 04, 2010 07:04 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I am glad to be told about this organization. Thanks for posting.

Jul 04, 2010 08:03 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Metro Life Homes - Palm Springs, CA
California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Thanks SO much for re-posting this.

It is unbelievably important that pets do not get left behind during transitions of distressed properties.

I personally think it is a crime that should have sever punishment.

Jul 04, 2010 06:26 PM