Thanks to Assembly Bill 2949, a new law takes effect on January 1, 2009 to protect abandoned foreclosure pets. It's disheartening to realize that California had to pass a law about this, yet I'm glad it did. You'd think that most people would simply do the right thing and take care of pets left behind in foreclosed homes, but banks have been turning away from the problem and pretending it did not exist.
In part, it's because many REO banks view pets as personal property and want to ward off potential lawsuits. I suspect it's also because they don't have time to "deal" with discarded pets as foreclosures loom. Many banks instructed real estate agents to ignore the pets discovered at the home, but fortunately, lots of agents discarded that advice.
The law says banks and landlords who find an abandoned or "involuntarily deposited" pet must take care of the animal or notify the animal control authorities. It also provides repayment by allowing animal control officers to recover the cost of rescue by filing a lien secured to the property.
In the city of Sacramento, Animal Care Services can be contacted by calling 916.808.7387. Be aware, however, that about half of the pets taken to Animal Care are euthanized. If you can adopt an abandoned foreclosure pet, please find it in your heart to do so. Or, if you know of a deserving family who would love a furry addition to their home, please encourage adoption of a foreclosure pet. It's much better to give the pet a forever home, don't you think?
Photo: Big Stock Photo
The Short Sale, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming from Archer Ellison January 2009.