Thursday, October 22, 2009

Foreclosure Dogs Need Your Help

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...Image via Wikipedia
After the last post I made about my neighbor and the new foster-dog, I began researching the subject of pets and what is happening to them in this economic downturn.  Sorry to say, I did not find any news that was uplifting. 

Why is it that the first to go is the family pet?  Does no one understand the term "commitment" anymore?  I always knew that getting a pet was a full-time, 10-15 year commitment, similar in kind to having babies.  Pets are totally dependent on their owners for life itself.  How can you just wake up one day, after years of caring for your pet dog and decide to abandon it because it was more cost effective to do so?  If that argument holds water, the next wave of problems will be all the abandoned children being left at churches, hospitals, and such because they cost too much to keep.

Please read the blog post below that talks about some of these situations in California, which is an area that has been very hard hit by foreclosures.  After reading this blog, I felt sick but I was really angry, too.  Read the post and then let me know what you think about this situation, okay?



Foreclosure Dogs Need Your Help
October 17, 2009

The saying, adopt a dog, save a life has never embodied a more urgent a plea. Across the fruited plain, in cities, towns and hamlets, upscale, downscale and no scale communities, dogs are being abandoned and too often forgotten.

Confused and frightened, dogs and puppies are simply left alone without food or water in foreclosed homes. Others are dropped off on lonely roads, in parks and woodlands. The lucky ones have been given to new homes and families, to dog rescues or no kill dog shelters for later adoption.

Revealing just how the severe the crisis is, Sharon L. Peters of USA Today writes, ” They’re arriving by the thousands every month, homeless, hapless victims of foreclosure…are landing in…(dog) shelters in large numbers in some parts of the country.And this is not an isolated occurrence

“We’re seeing more and more cases of people leaving their homes and dropping the dog off at the shelter and…. in the local park,” says Michael Mountain, president of Best Friends Animal Society. “Sometimes they even just tie the dog up outside and drive off.”

Eileen Drennen of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution brought it all home in with an actual case history “One abandoned dog Lt. Mary Lou Respess can’t get out of her mind is a Chihuahua. He’d been tied up so long, said the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter manager, his collar had gotten embedded in his skin and had to be surgically removed. He’s one of hundreds whose owners have left them behind.Small enough to fit in a shoe box, this Chihuahua’s guardians saw fit to abuse and desert their tiny dog.

While we are sympathetic to the plight of folks who are suffering as a result of the economic and mortgage meltdown we have zero tolerance for cruelty and neglect as demonstrated here.And this abject cruelty and neglect extends across dog breeds and sizes as well.

In Stockton, California, Evelyn Nieves of the Associated Press wrote, “The house was ravaged by owners who trashed their home before a bank foreclosed on it. Hidden in the wreckage was an abandoned member of the family: a starving pit bull.The dog found by workers was too far gone to save …

”So what can be done? 

Here’s a few suggestions:
- The ASPCA suggests that you try to find someone to foster or adopt your dog. Check with your family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers.
- Make the effort to find a no-kill shelter. It’s extra work but it is your responsibility. There is no excuse for taking the easy way out when your dog’s life is at stake.
- Contact local dog rescue organizations to see if they can help you find a home.
- Advertise your adoptable dog in a dog-specific classified ad listing. Screen potential adopters carefully. Rescue groups can help you with a set of questions such as: where the dog will live and what would be a reason for them to get rid of a dog . Do not advertise “free dog” in your ad as there are unscrupulous people who will take free dogs with little regard for their well being and some have even sold family pets to animal testing labs.
- Contact your veterinarian. He/she may also be able to find a new home or temporary guardian for your dog. Never drop your dog off in a crate or box on the veterinarian’s doorstep as this can be unsafe. He might escape or suffer from a lack of water or temperature fluctuation before help arrives.
- Contact your local animal shelter or animal control facility to see whether it will accept your dog and assist in finding it a new home .
- Support legislation in your area:  California, one the of states hit hardest by the sub-mortgage meltdown is considering Assembly Bill 2949, which would allow bank representatives to immediately seek potentially life-saving help for animals abandoned at foreclosed properties. The bill is supported by the ASPCA and the California Animal Association. 

It is never OK to leave the family pet to fend for himself. There are options and we should all be compassionately vigilant to help educate those facing economic hardship that will tear them from their home and split up their family. Many people will welcome the help at a time when they simply don’t know where to turn or what to do.

Others, sadly, will not be responsive to help and will continue to take the easy way out by abandoning their dogs. That’s where all of us have a responsibility to work within our own communities, with dog rescues, veterinarians and dog shelters to help re-home man’s best friend, when his family, in an act of inexcusable cruelty, forecloses on his love and loyalty and he is left behind.
Foreclosure Dogs Need Your Help « Chihuahua Pups
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