The number of animals being surrendered to animal shelters is soaring as the US foreclosure crisis grows—some shelters have 35% more animals now than this time last year. As more and more people lose their homes, 100’s of animals are being surrendered. Even worse are the animals just abandoned without out food or water—sometimes left locked inside homes. It’s often the real estate agents and property inspectors who are finding the abandoned animals in horrible conditions and sometimes already dead.
Another outcome from the surge in foreclosures, is fewer new homeowners. Fewer homeowners means there are fewer pet adoptions taking place across the country. There aren’t enough people to adopt the influx of pets.
Sadly, many people facing foreclosure are waiting until the last minute to make plans and many families are having a hard time finding rentals that allow pets, especially medium and large dogs. It is illegal in most states to abandon your animals not to mention barbaric.
The Philadelphia SCPA is waiving fees for surrendering pets due to foreclosures. And the Salem Animal Rescue League in New Hampshire is looking at providing temporary shelter for pets until their families get back on their feet after a foreclosure.(via therealestatebloggers)
The crisis is widespread enough that the Humane Society of the US and the ASPCA have issued statements urging people facing foreclosure to plan for their pets. The HSUS has good tips on how to protect your pets:
- Give yourself enough time. If possible, check ads and contact real estate agents and rental agencies at least six weeks before you plan to move or when you first learn that foreclosure and/or eviction may be in your future.
- Make use of available resources. Contact the humane society or animal care and control agency serving the area into which you are moving; the agency may be able to provide you with a list of apartment communities that allow pets.
- Gather proof that you’re responsible. The more documentation you can provide attesting to your conscientiousness as a pet owner, the more convincing your appeal will be to your future landlord. This can include statements from current property managers and neighbors that you maintain your pet responsibly, as well as copies of veterinary records showing ongoing pet care.
- Get it in writing. Once you have permission from a landlord, manager or condominium committee to have a pet, be sure to get it in writing. Comprehensive agreements protect people, property and the pets themselves.
The HSUS also has tips on lowering the costs of keeping your pets:
- While buying expensive toys and accessories has become a popular way to demonstrate your attachment to your pet, your pet can be just as happy with less expensive toys or homemade toys. They need your love and attention more than a pricey product. The HSUS has tips for inexpensive toys for both cats and dogs.
- Keep your pets safe inside or on a leash while walking outside. Animals allowed to roam freely are more prone to accidents and resulting veterinary bills.
- Let your veterinarian know that finances are tight and ask that he or she prescribe only the most vital vaccinations to keep your pet healthy.
- Consider pet health insurance to minimize the shock of an expensive bill from the veterinarian in case of an unexpected illness or injury.