Posts Tagged ‘Bichon Frise’

Financially overwhelmed owners abandon homes, with pets still inside

March 28, 2008

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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