Animal shelters or any animal lover can help pets losing their homes due to foreclosure using the following ideas:
Prepare a print flyer and a page on your animal shelter’s website listing options for foreclosed pets. For example, list animal rescue groups and shelters in your area, pet food bank information, foster home information and contacts, a list of apartment complexes and rentals that accept pets, etc. You could include a step-by-step plan of action for anyone facing foreclosure of what steps to take in your area. Encourage anyone facing this situation to start immediately finding a housing solution including the family pets.
Develop a list of potential foster homes which could accept pets with late notice. Another possibility is a list of animal lovers who would help pay for pet food and other necessities for foster homes. Sometimes pet lovers are willing to foster homeless pets but they don’t have the funds to feed them.
Ask your local newspaper to link to your shelter’s web page with your foreclosure options. Often local newspapers have a pet page online which lists local resources; ask for a link from this page. Inform local pet food stores, big-box pet food chains, pet boutiques, veterinarians’ offices, and other pet-related businesses that pet-related foreclosure information is available on your website. Post a flyer about your options if possible.
Provide this information to real estate agents as well as banks and other home lenders in your area. Contact the qualifying broker or manager of real estate firms and a lending officer at lending institutions. Ask if they will make this information available to anyone who works with foreclosures. Real estate agents are often the first to find abandoned pets left in foreclosed homes. Provide them with information about removing the pets, including any relevant laws in your state and/or community, as well as options for placing the pets in a safe place.
Animal shelters and pet-related businesses can use their email list to contact animal lovers about the plight of pets losing their homes. Spreading the word can help find homes for these pets.
Ask for volunteers to help with this project. For example, teenagers could help make calls to compile the list of rentals accepting pets. Don’t forget to list property management companies on the list; provide the name and number of a contact who would know if they have available rentals allowing pets. Find committed volunteers who will update the information, add new options, and help spread the word. In this economic downturn, you may find unemployed or part-time workers who could provide professional help with this project. Post your volunteer needs on your website and in your local newspaper’s “volunteers needed” section.