Pet owners in peril of losing their homes are encouraged to take their animals with them, but if that is not possible, it is imperative that they have a contingency plan. The assumption that someone will find and rescue the abandoned animals is faulty, as it could take weeks before agents enter the house. Furthermore, the lack of social interaction in the interim may affect an animal’s temperament, which, in turn, may decrease its adoptability.
The American Veterinary Medical Association provides the following suggestions for pet owners with homes in foreclosure and who cannot take their animals with them:
- Try to find someone to foster or adopt your pet(s). Check with your family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers.
- Contact local rescue organizations to see if they can help you find a home.
- Advertise your adoptable pet(s) in a pet-specific classified ad listing. Screen potential adopters as carefully as possible to ensure that your pet ends up in a quality home.
- Your veterinarian may also be able to help you identify a foster home or find a new home for your pet. Do not, however, leave your pet on the veterinary clinic’s doorstep!
- Contact your local animal shelter or animal control facility to see whether it will accept your pet and assist in finding it a new home if you are unable to find a home for it yourself.
If you would like to give help to alleviate this situation, remember that local animal shelters are bearing the brunt of this “foreclosure pet” crisis, as they are experiencing unusual levels of overpopulation across the country. Information on donating to shelters is available at http://pitbullrescuecentral.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-you-can-help-your-local-shelter-by.html.
Source: AVMA. Frequently asked questions about pets and foreclosed homes. http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/pets_foreclosed_homes_faq.asp