New Law Says Banks Must Rescue Abandoned Foreclosure Pets

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

abandoned foreclosure petsThanks 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?

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Photo: Big Stock Photo

The Short Sale, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming from Archer Ellison January 2009.

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Christine von dem Bach 10/23/2008 01:14 PM
  2. Evelyn Black 03/21/2009 10:04 AM
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Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate

Elizabeth - I can't imagine anyone abandoning a pet.  I'm glad someone is looking out for them...  :)

Oct 21, 2008 04:51 AM #1
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

It is amazing that we have to have a law for this. I understand the problem posed by pets when renting property. Another unintended consequence of the foreclosure process.

Oct 21, 2008 04:55 AM #2
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

It's great to see this law in your state.  I wish Georgia would adopt something similar.  We had just one house this year that was an REO that they left 4 kittens.  I contacted a no kill shelter who went out and trapped them.  I have already adopted 5 pets in the past 6 years.  Plus I feed my no account neighbor's cat as well.  I'd love to have more, but I just can't.  I'm going to email this legislation to my state representative today.  Thanks for the info.

Oct 21, 2008 04:57 AM #3
Scott Cowan
RE/MAX Professionals - Olympia, WA

Elizabeth- It really saddens me that a law like this even needs to be created. Why do people have pets and then treat them so terribly? I really do not understand. I am glad though that there is a process now to help any animals left behind so that they have a chance to be taken care of.



Oct 21, 2008 05:05 AM #4
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Debi: Oh, you'd be astonished at the way people discard pets when they move. When I was involved with the Sacramento SPCA, I witnessed first-hand the tears that poured forth when pets were brought in by their abandonors. These people would sob and sob over handing their pet to the SPCA, but they still did it anyway. It's almost as bad as driving out to a deserted country road and kicking the dog out of the car. I don't have any empathy in my heart for those people.

Hi Fred: When I owned rentals (which I don't anymore), I always rented to people with pets and just charged them a higher security deposit.

Hi Tammy: That's a good idea -- maybe you can get something going in Georgia!!

Hi Scott: Some people treat their pet like a pair of worn-out shoes. When it no longer fits their lifestyle, they toss it into the trash.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 21, 2008 05:24 AM #5
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


This post reaches out to people; when all else fails I still have Lars. I cannot see how anyone can abandon anything.


Tom Braatz

Oct 21, 2008 05:25 AM #6
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Elizabeth, it seems like the government has to always step in when people continue to act irresponsibly. It's sad when it involves pets. Abandoning a member of the family even an animal is ridiculous.

Oct 21, 2008 09:20 AM #7
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elizabeth:  You shoudl be proud to live in such an empathetic and forward thinking state.  I feel terrible when I hear how many pets are ending up neglected or homeless as a result of this economy.

Oct 21, 2008 09:21 AM #8
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Tom: Pets are a great source of comfort. I don't know how anyone can live without them, much less discard them. I still have fond memories of my cat, Ashli, a white Persian, who once crawled on top of my back and slipped his paws around my neck while I was lying on the sofa face down sobbing.

Hi Gary: I'm glad to see this legislation passed. I wonder how it will be enforced, though.

Hi Chris Ann: I believe the bill was introduced by Mark DeSaulnier, a Democrat from Martinez (near San Francisco).

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 21, 2008 09:31 AM #9
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

More victims of the mortgage meltdown. I agree it is sad that a law had to be passed before people might do the right thing by these animals. I do feel for them though, it can't be easy to lose your home and then have to find a rental or temporary accomodations which will take pets. I'm so sick of this reality!!

Oct 21, 2008 11:02 AM #10
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Is it that people in foreclosure get so depressed that they just shut down their feelings, their heart to survive and poor pets are left behind?

I can;t blame people, I think the foreclosure is more than many of us can handle, and the law like that is a good thing.

Animals falling victims to foreclosure, who culd have thought we would see that...

Oct 21, 2008 12:46 PM #11
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Poor little critters.  It's not only homeowners and some tenants that lose their homes to foreclosure, but some animals too.

Oct 21, 2008 02:04 PM #12
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Colleen: There are a lot of victims from the mortage meltdown, and I can't think of anybody it hasn't affected -- from tenants to pets to first-time home buyers who can no longer obtain Nehemiah assistance.

Hi Jon: Some people should never be pet owners in the first place. From the day that pet enters your home, I believe people have a responsibility to care for that pet until the end of that pet's life; which means if they can't take the pet with them, they should find a replacement home.

Hi Myrl: I hate to say this -- not only do pets lose their homes, but many of them lose their lives.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 22, 2008 07:59 AM #13
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

I am so happy to hear this. Thank you for getting the word out about the discard of so many animals. As an animal lover... it just breaks my heart. Please donate to your local SPCA... they are really trying to help with this too.

Oct 22, 2008 01:41 PM #14
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Elizabeth - I just heard about this the law the other day and I'm so glad too.  It's about time!  As a dog mama with three fury babies, it's just disheartening to me to hear the horror stories of pets being left behind.  I can't imagine the cruelty that these poor creatures go through when their families just abandon them alone to fend for themselves or in many cases just die.  Thank God for this law and I hope to see it spread across the country.

Oct 25, 2008 05:25 AM #15
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Lori: I donate to several animal humane organizations. And if I find pets running loose on the streets, I take them to the SSPCA.

Hi Donne: Lots of states follow in California's footsteps, so I hope so, too!

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Oct 26, 2008 01:05 PM #16
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