Helping Pets Affected by Foreclosure

Gas, food and living expenses have increased significantly — so much so that some people are unable to pay their mortgage and are now facing foreclosure. What makes the situation even more heartbreaking is the fact that some people cannot afford to take care of their pets or even take their pets with them to their new home. Moving from a house to an apartment is an adjustment and not all apartment complexes welcome pets. It’s estimated that an approximate 1.4 million additional homeowners will experience foreclosure during 2008. While this is a difficult position for homeowners to be in, there are ways to reduce the stress on the family pet.

Making The Transition

If you have a pet and are in foreclosure or if your neighbor who has a pet is in foreclosure, there are ways to try and make the transition as easy as possible for the pet who is affected.

1. Take the pet to a local shelter for temporary housing or adoption. Be sure to check with the shelter to ensure that they have enough room to board your animal for an estimated length of time. Some shelters have too many animals, so they have no choice but to euthanize the additional animals that they cannot care for. Use www.petfinder.com to help you search for local shelters.

2. Ask a local animal shelter if they provide any financial assistance like providing food for your pet. They might be able to supply you with free food or coupons until you are able to find employment and/or housing. Recently, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) setup a grant program to help shelters and rescue groups assist pet owners who are in foreclosure. Under the grant, organizations can receive between $500 and $2,000.

3. Look for apartments that accept pets. Some apartment or townhouse complexes designate certain areas for people who have dogs or cats. You might have to pay an initial fee, but at least you won’t have to break up your family.

4. If you are unable to find an apartment or townhouse that accepts pets, see if a family member or friend can provide your pet with temporary housing.

5. Contact your veterinarian to see if he or she provides low-cost boarding. Because of your situation, they might be able to setup a payment plan.

6. Find someone who is willing to adopt your pet. There have been many cases where homeowners are abandoning their dog or cat. If the animal isn’t supplied with food or water, it will most likely die, because by the time the bank or mortgage company visits the house it will probably be too late. If you suspect that a neighbor has abandoned a pet, contact your local animal control office.

Be Prepared

Finding out information ahead of time makes the odds of being able to keep your pet greater. Foreclosure is a stressful and frustrating situation to be in, but when everything is said and done, it’s reassuring to know that your family is around to support you during this time. Even though creditors are calling and court documents are coming in the mail, there can be a sense of security from your pet’s love and companionship.

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