Pets becoming mortgage foreclosure victims

Pets becoming mortgage foreclosure victims


A little known part of the fallout from the record pace of foreclosures of homes has been the impact on pet owners.

“For the last two months, we’ve received an unprecedented number of telephone requests and e-mails from people pleading for us to take their dogs and cats,” said Elise M. Matthes, president of Sarasota in Defense of Animals.

“It is heart-wrenching. Most of those who contact us are losing their homes and moving into rentals, where pets are prohibited. They are severely distraught people because there is no “no-kill” shelter or sanctuary in the county that will take pets,” Matthes said. “Most area shelters are bulging at the seams with excess dogs and cats.”

Real estate experts foresee a total of 1,500 foreclosures by the end of 2007 in the area, if the pace recorded in August and September continues. Four times the number of homes seized by lenders in 2006 were recorded in the first nine months of this year in Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee counties.

That is a rate of about 30 homes a week.

A housing fair earlier this month at New College of Florida drew more participants than the organizers had anticipated. The focus was on how to avoid foreclosure and how to afford a new home. The Sarasota County Community Housing Trust reported an accelerated flow of inquiries from residents since August.

Most foreclosed homes are sold at individual auctions, or farmed out to real estate brokers to sell on the open market. Many homes purchased during the housing boom by buyers who took out subprime mortgages were lost when they could not meet monthly payments. Subprime mortgages were targeted locally and nationally at working people with weak credit histories.

SDA operates a 10-acre sanctuary in the eastern part of the county. The 18-year-old nonprofit organization provides lifetime care to more than 300 homeless animals, including goats, cows, horses, ducks, geese, swans, 25 dogs and 150 cats.

Matthes said that her organization works directly with county animal services in saving the lives of animals. A significant part of the SDA operation is an intensive adoption program for homeless dogs and cats.



I can relate… we perform a lot of forclosure work around here… ever increasing… and all too often it is obvious that pets were left inside the home for days after the family left… nasty to say the least…

once last winter a cat followed us around the vacant house for two days… little guy… could not catch him… next month he was gone… sad… but maybe he found a home.

I would say that the pets are victims of their owner’s mistakes (not paying your mortgage, not having the money to buy that kind of home in the first place, signing up for a stupid ARM or no interest loan).


Another article mentions how many of the abandoned pets carry municipal tags showing us, once again, that licensing solves nothing.

You never quit, do you? :mrgreen:

Where you scared by your Father’s Drivers License as a child (or something like that)? There’s gotta be a reason, Jim. :wink: