It’s an unfortunate fact that the foreclosure crisis facing American families will affect more than the two legged residents. Family pets are often the unintended victims when homeowners are forced to give up their homes when they are unable to pay their mortgage. Faced with significant financial, housing and personal problems as a result of losing their homes, families often feel there is no other alternative but to abandon their dog, cat or other family cat, sometimes leaving them behind to fend for themselves in the abandoned property or on the streets. If you are a concerned pet lover interested in helping a family or individual pet left behind as a result of a foreclosure, we have a few tips and resources that may help along the way.
Keeping Families Together
As a concerned neighbor, friend or family member of someone who is facing foreclosure, there are many avenues you could take to help individual families keep their furry, four legged members with them. The best chance to assist will come early on in the foreclosure process. If you are interested in helping, reach out to the affected family early in the foreclosure process and affirmatively start the conversation. Ask if they have plans for their pets during foreclosure, or if they are in need of resources of information on options. Many families abandon their pets not from malicious intent, but because they feel lost or hopeless and are unaware their may be help available.
Many families will not want to impose on others to ask for help such as for food, veterinary care or temporary housing for their pets during the foreclosure process. If you have the resources and are interested in helping, be explicit about the care, money or other items you are offering and whether you are expecting any reimbursement. This will help avoid confusion upfront and will be appreciated by families already undergoing an extremely stressful foreclosure process.
Rescuing or Adopting a Foreclosed Pet
In some cases, it may be impossible or impractical for families to keep their cat or dog when facing foreclosure. If you are a concerned pet lover and have room in your home, you may consider rescuing or adopting a foreclosed on pet. If you personally know the family involved, this can provide some sense of comfort as the previous owners will know their beloved four legged friends have found a safe and stable home.
There may also be opportunities for the family to visit with the pets in the future. This scenario can create a sense of normalcy and continuity, allowing the displaced family to maintain a connection with a friend or neighbor. If you have the ability, consider opening your home to a foreclosed dog, cat or other pet to help both the animal and the family in their time of need.
Dogs and Cats Left Behind in Foreclosed Homes
If you’re interesting in rescuing a pet that has been left behind in a foreclosed home, there are a few things you should consider before snagging fido or fluffy and bringing them into your home. First, while the pet may appear to be abandoned, if the owner returns looking for their animal you may be liable for theft or other charges if you’ve taken the pet without permission.
Also, entering into an abandoned home to rescue an abandoned pet could potentially result in trespassing or breaking and entering charges since you don’t have permission from the owner of the home (in most cases the bank) to enter the premises. Instead of going in on your own, if you know a pet has been left behind in a home consider calling the local human society, law enforcement or a rescue agency which can obtain the proper permission to enter the premises and take possession of any animals that may be in need of help.
The Wrap Up
In short, while many people identify the need for help and resources in the face of a real problem facing homeowners nowadays, few homeowners know that there are resources available to help prevent pet abandonment. Similarly, good meaning pet lovers may have the desire to help, but may not have the knowledge regarding the best way to act. With the advent of the internet, help is just a few clicks away. Whether you’re a homeowner or would be rescuer, keep the above info in mind and check out the below list of resources if you’re looking to help out a pet who has been left behind as a result of a foreclosure.
About the Author
Simon Campbell has spent over 15 years in all the various facets having to do with real estate including sales, purchases, investment and research.
Simon has changed directions and is now sharing his knowledge and experience with others to avoid foreclosure. For more details, check his website or facebook