Foreclosed Petsby Tim Manni
There are many unfortunate byproducts of a home foreclosure. A growing cause for concern amongst animal rights activists has been the growing number of abandoned pets left behind when families are forced to leave their homes.
Too often the owner’s new living arrangements don’t allow animals. Rather than finding an adequate living situation for their pets, many feel as though they have no other option than to leave their pets behind.
From the Washington Times:
Although no hard numbers are available on how many pets have become casualties of the financial crisis, [ASPCA Executive Vice President Stephen] Zawistowski points out that one in every 117 homeowners is in danger of losing a home, while 63 percent of homes have more than one pet. That adds up to hundreds of thousands of pets potentially abandoned.
Experts will tell you that there are three main reasons to why foreclosed pets are abandoned: neglect, ignorance, or the law. Some pet owners simply view their animals as pieces of property, says Elizabeth Weintraub of About.com. “They see a pet as property, no different than a worn sofa tossed into the alley when the springs pop.”
Others either do not know how to get in touch with an animal shelter, or fear sending their pets to a shelter that will euthanize. According to NoPawsLeftBehind.org, “Animal Shelters without a No Kill policy euthanize about 61% of dogs and 75% of cats annually, nationwide. That totals more than 12 million dogs and cats euthanized each year and millions more are abandoned.”
Lastly, in most states the legal definition of pets is that of “personal property.” After a foreclosure, personal property is not seized by the bank or collection agency until after a set period of time (it can be days, weeks, or even months).
There are many resources and options for foreclosed pets. Click here to locate either a “no kill” shelter, foster shelter, or all other shelters in your area.