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East Bay Real Estate Focus

Providing Definitive Information for the East Bay Area

By Carl Medford | Agent in Fremont, CA

Foreclosures Take A Bite Out Of Unintended Victims: 2 Ways You Can Help Ease The Pain


Foreclosure is a devastating process, stripping individuals of their homes, credit and self worth. In some cases, personal possessions are lost as well. It leaves victims struggling with anger, depression, hopelessness and more. And it can have untended consequences on an entire group who are all-to-often left to fend for themselves.



As a pet owner, I can’t imagine losing one of our critters. We love them and they’re a vital part of our family. Yet for those forced from of their homes by foreclosure, options for pets can be extremely limited. One of the first shocks is the fact that, with damaged credit, rental options are severely restricted. Frequently the only rentals available … don’t allow pets. I’ve personally talked to despondent pet owners who’ve searched in vain for pet-friendly rentals. It’s an unfortunate part of the foreclosure process and adds injury to insult. Many try to give their pets to extended family or friends. At least, they reason, they’ll be able to see their furry friends occasionally. Unfortunately, this often fails as well.

So what happens to the pets if they cannot move with their owners?


“All too frequently they’re left behind,” states Jennie Comstock, the Animal Services Manager in Hayward, CA. “We frequently get calls from neighbors reporting abandoned animals. We find them locked in homes. We’ve also seen significant increases in the number of animals dropped off at shelters. In addition, those who’ve lost their jobs and are in the process of losing their homes often don’t have the funds to continue feeding their pets.”


When most people hear the word “pet”, they usually think ‘dogs’ and ‘cats.’ Unfortunately, pets being abandoned include exotic birds such as macaws, parrots, cockatiels and cockatoos. And reptiles of all kinds. Think … snakes and the like. Left behind, they quickly get very hungry. Not the kind of “pet” you’d want to encounter when entering a vacant home. Yet these encounters have happened. Snakes have ended up taking shelter in bathrooms. Imagine opening a closet and being confronted by a starved iguana.


Ironically, this tragedy has an extra twist.


At the time when local shelters need the most help and assistance, funding is at an all-time low. Hours are being cut and some shelters, such as San Leandro, CA’s facility, have closed for lack of operating capital. Efforts have been made to help those in danger of losing their pets, however, as a banner on the website for The Humane Society of the United States informs, “Unfortunately due to financial constraints, the Foreclosure Pets Fund has been temporarily suspended.”


Want to help alleviate the crisis?


“As a result of foreclosures,” Comstock adds, “We currently have many pets in our shelters eagerly waiting to be adopted!” You can see them at Hayward’s Animal Shelter at 16 Barnes Court, Hayward CA. You can also volunteer to help. Other Alameda County shelters are located in Fremont, CA and Dublin, CA. 


Volunteer to help or adopt a new family member – whichever you choose, you can ease foreclosure’s bite and gain a new friend at the same time!



By Preston Russ,  Fri Sep 24 2010, 07:42
So sad, but true. Loosing a home is bad enough but loosing my pets would hurt deep to the core. I love my dogs and if I lost my home and them I would be beside myself with grief. My heart goes out to those who have. I would like to thank all the volunteers that make programs like these work, you are our angels.

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