Moving is often an exciting process but that is not the case for people forced to move from their homes. Being in the pet relocation business during this economy, we cannot help but be concerned about the growing problem of homeowners with pets facing foreclosure. The impact of the current economic crisis and the rise in home foreclosures has led to an increase in abandoned pets left on the streets and doorsteps of shelters across the country. Currently the exact number of foreclosure pets is unknown.
This new wave of “foreclosure pets,” is most likely to impact cats, who are often viewed as more disposable than dogs according to sources. In some extreme cases pets are found in the home, long after the owners have left, left to survive in extreme conditions. Cats are often just left behind to fend for themselves to find food and shelter.
I recently came across two great organizations committed to making a difference for pets left behind and to help assist pet parents in crisis situations. Pets are more than animals; they are family members. When financial hardships force a family into foreclosure, pets are affected by the situation too. The first organization is Realtors for Pets.com (www.realtorsforpets.com) founded by Gina Carr.
As Gina remarks,
“Right now, our furry friends need us more than ever as they are increasingly being left behind in the foreclosure wave that is sweeping across America. People are losing their homes. Landlords aren’t allowing pets. The shelters are over-run. The end result is that wonderful, adoptable dogs and cats, puppies and kittens are being destroyed simply because there are not enough homes.”
Real estate professionals are often the first to know that a pet is at risk of being abandoned or turned into a shelter. Their web site links to a feature with Kristen Butler, Executive Director of RealtorsForPets.com, and Jack, the sweetest little puppy in the world that was rescued by RealtorsForPets.com after being abandoned and left in a trap with no food or water for FOUR DAYS!”
Another such organization is the program started by the Chicago Association of Realtors – REALTORS® to the RESCUE which is a not-for-profit who are joining forces to bring to bear the power of the strong network of Chicago Association of Realtors® members in the city of Chicago to impact the issue of homeless animals.
Suzy Thomas, founding chairperson focuses on utilizing the large association membership and is dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals by, promoting the adoption of homeless animals, providing and recruiting volunteer support for shelters and providing numerous existing homeless animal shelters across the city support and cooperation to enhance their organizations’ outreach, missions, goals and objectives.
“If you must move into a situation where you will not be able to take your pet, please do the best thing for your devoted animal and make arrangements for him/her. Never abandon your companion animal or turn it loose; there are always other options, ” advises Realtors to the Rescue. (http://www.realtorstotherescue.com)
Congratulations to them for receiving the 2009 Community Service Award granted by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.