Financially overwhelmed owners abandon homes, with pets still inside

In the swank Country Club area of Anthem, Ariz., Barbara Ward-Windgassen’s rescue group has saved a bichon frise, Lhasa apso and shih tzu — some with their leashes still on — after their owners had abandoned them in their foreclosed high-priced homes.

She’s also helped find new homes for a rottweiler and pit bull that were being cared for over the fence by neighbors for nearly two months after the family left them in the back yard when their house was taken back by the bank.

Call it reckless abandonment. Shelters and animal rescue organizations across the country are packed cage-to-cage with dogs and cats, even birds and reptiles, that have been ditched or dropped off as scores of foreclosed-upon homeowners relocate. It is a disturbing trend and a sign of the tough economic times that has prompted a number of organizations to form hotlines for pet foster homes and to implore pet owners — or what the industry calls “pet parents” — to seek help for their animals before they head off.
“There are a lot of people who are just walking away and leaving their pets behind, which breaks everyone’s heart,” said Windgassen, the president of Anthem Pets, a nonprofit animal welfare organization in her community.
The number of abandoned pure-bred dogs in her neighborhood alone has jumped 10-fold just since Christmas. “It just boggles my mind,” she said. “It’s cutting across all income levels and age levels.”
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2 Responses to “Financially overwhelmed owners abandon homes, with pets still inside”

  1. trixie42 Says:

    This just blows me away. It is so hard to believe that people can be so cold about there pets. Thank God for people like you. Blessings fro Trix

  2. kittymowmow Says:

    Hey Trix,

    I agree. Perhaps I’m not exercising enough understanding, but I really don’t see how such a significant number of people can be so dumb, ignorant, or careless. Do they really think that a breed of animal whose ancestors have been domesticated for thousands upon thousands of generations, and that has itself been housed in human home and been fed and cared for daily, would be able to successfully fend for itself immediately upon being abandoned? A pet like that is NOT going to be self-sufficient.

    Or perhaps people just think that, if they leave the pet, someone else will come along and take care of it for them. Well, IF the pet is found before it starves to death or suffers an accident or disease of some sort, chances are it will be sent to an animal shelter and put to sleep. The least they could do is find a temporary home for it at a friend or relatives house, and if that doesn’t work, act responsibly and take it to an animal shelter themselves.

    I apologize for the rant. This is a sore subject for me.

    Oh, and thanks for the thank you. I don’t really think I deserve it, though. 🙂

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