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Foreclosed: Owners Lose Homes, Abandon Pets

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AP, January 29, 2008

STOCKTON, California (AP) — The house was ravaged — its floors ripped, walls broken and lights smashed 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 — another example of how pets are also victims of the nation’s mortgage crisis as homeowners leave animals behind when they can no longer afford their property.

Pets “are getting dumped all over,” said Traci Jennings, president of the Humane Society of Stanislaus County in northern California. “Farmers are finding dogs dumped on their grazing grounds, while house cats are showing up in wild cat colonies.”

In one such colony in Modesto, California, two obviously tame cats watched alone from a distance as a group of feral cats devoured a pile of dry food Jennings offered. VideoWatch some of the animals left behind »


The abandoned pets are overwhelming animal shelters and drawing fury from bloggers, especially as photos of emaciated animals circulate on the Internet.

The first people to enter an abandoned house, such as property inspectors and real estate brokers, have discovered dogs tied to trees in backyards, cats in garages, and turtles, rabbits and lizards in children’s bedrooms.

No one keeps track of the numbers of abandoned pets, but anecdotal evidence suggests forsaken animals are becoming a problem wherever foreclosures are climbing. Stockton, California, and Modesto have some of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates.


“They may be euthanized at a shelter,” said Stephanie Shain of the Humane Society of the United States. “But they’ll be fed and have water and have a humane euthanization, as opposed to spending the last days of their lives eating carpet or wallboard.”

Bloggers are furious with the “foreclosure pet” phenomenon, especially after seeing photos of emaciated animals on the Internet. Some critics say the pet owners have already proved they are irresponsible by buying houses they could not afford or mortgages they did not bother to understand.


Original article

(Posted on January 31, 2008)

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I wouldn’t make excuses for these people. Having worked with dogs, (training)and owning many till they passed on naturally,I know these type of people. As an animal lover but not some extreme activist, my attitude towards people who abandon their friends,(that is what the animal thinks of them) is nothing less than that these people are swine. Pure swine, except in the most extreme circumstances. Anyone who has worked closely with dogs, for instance, knows they are loyal to the extreme, with their owners. It goes beyond instinct, and most people wouldn’t know it, because they haven’t the experience.

The truth is, most people should not own pets, because they are too irresponsible. A lot of people can’t even manage their children properly. These people would betray and abandon their family and friends as well as their pets. Don’t think for a minute they draw such close distinctions.

Posted by Bobby at 6:05 PM on January 31

Someone actually gets paid to write this stuff? Pets? Victims of foreclosure?

From what I’ve seen dogs & cats can generally fend for themselves, and also have this uncanny ability to ingratiate themselves to people (in re: Turner & Hooch, the movie).

Posted by ed at 6:13 PM on January 31

Yes, my sweetie has 3 eviction cats living at his shop. One accompanied him there in 10 degree weather. Another one is our $1400.00 cat — how much the vet bills were to save her.

Posted by at 6:27 PM on January 31

This is Clinton’s fault. They should use their clout to care for the pets.

Posted by the Soviet Republic of New Jersey State at 6:27 PM on January 31

Here in Memphis, abandoned dogs (many of them pitbulls) roam the streets where evictions are highest. These starving animals are eventually run over by cars or picked up by the dog catcher. So where is all the compassion the media attributes to blacks and other nonwhites? Michael Vick typifies black attitudes toward pets.

Posted by Beauregarde at 7:37 PM on January 31

Bob Barker was a loving man and a genius. I wouldn’t be surprised if he posts on here.

Posted by at 8:30 PM on January 31

Don’t worry. Obama promises change. He will change all this. Be patient. Change is coming.

Posted by LOGIC at 9:03 PM on January 31

I have been experiencing this phenomenon since moving to country shortly after 9/11. People drive to rural areas to ditch unwanted pets. We see many animals with collars still on but the tags have been snipped off. My wife and I have kept two dogs and two cats in addition to the two dogs that we already had when moving here. Our local paper will run free adds if your are offering “free kittens” or “free dogs”. So, when we get a new arrival, we give the animal a bath, get a new collar, and take it to a local vet for shots and then run an add in the paper and try to find the little guys a new home. It has been successful so far. It is heart wrenching to see these animals setting on the side of the road waiting for their owner to return. I have to disagree with the previous comment stating that these animals can take care of themselves. Often times it does not have a happy ending without a little assistance.

Posted by at 9:14 PM on January 31

People who are cruel to animals are cruel people.

Posted by at 10:44 PM on January 31

What percentage of these people who leave dogs tied up to starve are blacks and browns?

Posted by at 10:51 PM on January 31

I will wager that the overwhelming majority of those who abandoned these poor pets are NONWHITES!

I see it all the time in my city! They are truly disgusting people who don’t even have a heart for a loyal and deserving pet! There is so much abuse and torture of our animals in this country now AND it is attributed to mostly nonwhites and we all know it. They have neither a soul or a heart for anything that is decent and compassion is simply something they are void of.

Posted by at 11:29 PM on January 31

This is just despicable. There is no excuse whatsoever for this vile behaviour. Blacks in particular are cruel and vicious towards dogs. A lot of a person’s character can be seen in how they treat animals. You would never see, for example, an irresponsible pet-owner and an otherwise responsible person.

Posted by at 12:22 AM on February 1

People who are cruel to animals are cruel people.

And the vast majority of those people are black people.

Posted by at 12:46 AM on February 1

The final duty to a loyal dog is a humane death. Some kinds of people don’t know the meaning of “duty”, “loyal”, or “humane”. It’s hardly surprising that they don’t pay their debts either.

Posted by Schoolteacher at 2:20 AM on February 1

Anybody that could leave a little animal, helpless and afraid, to a fate of starving and abuse, when the only thing the little thing has is its owners to protect it, is on the lowest level of humanity on earth.

How people treat their little animals is a measure of their quality, and anybody who can abandon a helpless creature is one I not only would avoid, but would keep a wary eye on for other sub-human conduct.

Posted by Robert Kelly at 9:59 AM on February 1

Isn’t the old expression that white people have dogs for pets while black people have dogs for protection?

Posted by Dennis at 1:20 PM on February 1

The denizens of the third-world commonly treat animals horribly, but black Africans take animal cruelty to a whole other level…

Posted by at 2:46 PM on February 1

“Anybody that could leave a little animal, helpless and afraid, to a fate of starving and abuse, when the only thing the little thing has is its owners to protect it, is on the lowest level of humanity on earth.”

These are the type of people that sell their children for drugs, or throw them off bridges.

Posted by Drew at 4:30 PM on February 1

Dont black males walk out on their black females and black kids or white females and mixed mutts? So whats new? Wouldnt it make sense that the whole race is undependable? We know for a fact that for at least 200 yrs whites who were duped into slavery did however force them to do a little soft labor picking cotton or cleaning house in exchange for everything free but since 1865 they have been on the gumint dole thanks 100% to the GOP.

Posted by at 8:26 AM on February 2

“Isn’t the old expression that White people have dogs for pets while black people have dogs for protection?”

Posted by Dennis,,,,

Interesting. That got me to thinking about something I had never realized before. Every time I have ever seen a black guy with a dog it was always a Pit-bull or a Rottweiler. I have NEVER seen a black guy with a Cocker-Spaniel, Corgi, Pomeranian, Chihuahua etc, even a Labrador Retriever. Only Whites, or occasionally Asians seem to own these types of dog breeds. I think Michael Vick’s attitudes towards dogs is a lot closer to the true nature of blacks towards canines then most people realize.

Posted by at 12:41 AM on February 3

“What percentage of these people who leave dogs tied up to starve are blacks and browns?”

Let’s not forget the Orientals. Dogs are nothing more than livestock to them.

Posted by at 12:54 AM on February 3

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