Shelters aim to protect the four-legged victims of foreclosure
Regular readers of our Atlanta bankruptcy blog are well aware that, for the past several years now, Georgia has remained among the states with the highest number of mortgage defaults, repossessions and foreclosures. We have previously written about the effects of foreclosure on children and families, but what about the less-discussed victims of the foreclosure process?
In states across the country, animal advocates have launched emergency pet shelters to provide shelter for dogs, cats and other animals that have been displaced by a variety of unfortunate situations, such as foreclosure and repossession, illness, divorce or death. While the primary goal of these shelter facilities is to find new homes for pets, they ultimately provide an invaluable service to pet owners, most of whom are distraught at having to give up their beloved animals due to circumstances out of their control.
For example, many former homeowners have become renters after losing their homes to foreclosure. Because rental properties often have strict pet policies, keeping an animal may simply no longer be an option. These shelters reassure stressed pet owners that their animals will not be euthanized, but will go to loving homes.
One such shelter was founded in 2008 by a man who was moved by the high unemployment and foreclosure rate in his city. After buying a five-bedroom house to serve as a transition home for the displaced pets, he began to place the animals who had been surrendered by people dealing with foreclosure and unemployment. About 350 pets were placed in 2009, and that number has increased steadily, riding to 500 in 2010 and 570 in 2011. The shelter owner expects the number to top 600 this year as foreclosure rates show no sign of relenting.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Charities help pets when foreclosure victims can’t,” Sue Manning, July 24, 2012
At our Atlanta law firm, we help our clients deal with issues like those discussed above. For more information, please visit our foreclosure page.