Sept. 28: Politically Religious Day
Another auto expense

'Four legs good, two legs bad'

I'm sure all you "Animal Farm" fans immediately recognized that headline as a quote from George Orwell's satirical novel.

Animal_Farm_OrwellToday is Orwell's birthday. He was born June 25, 1903, as Eric Arthur Blair.

Being a writer and semi-successful rabble-rouser myself, I love Wikipedia's description of Orwell's writing style: "Marked by concise descriptions of social conditions and events and a contempt for all types of authority."

The "two legs bad" maxim immediately came to mind when I saw a story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on how pets are the foreclosure crisis' other victims.

"When a homeowner has to leave his home because of foreclosure, often his pet is left behind," writes Andrea Jares.

Pet foreclosure rescue available: But there is a bit of good news, too. Services are cropping up nationwide to help pets and their fiscally strapped owners.

Down the road in Houston, No Paws Left Behind has a shelter database that struggling homeowners can use to help find a home for their pet. And The Humane Society of the United States is offering grants, up to $2,000 apiece, to shelters to help them specifically handle foreclosure-displaced pets.

I am always amazed at how people deal, or rather don't deal, with their pets in times of crisis.

When we were in Florida, people left pets behind when they evacuated as hurricanes approached. In most cases, it was because emergency shelters didn't accept the furry family members. Thankfully, some storm shelters are now accommodating people and pets.

Some pet owners, however, just seem not to care. That boggles my mind.

We were petless most of the time we lived in Florida, plus we stayed in our house through every storm. But I can guarantee that if we still had our cat and had been forced to seek safer ground, we would not have left him home alone with a storm approaching.

Heck, I'm only half joking when I say that I'm glad the hubby never had to make a choice about who to save in a crisis because I pretty well know he'd have chosen our feline son Zeke instead of me!

Of course he says it's because he knows I can take care of myself. But I know the real reason, and I never begrudged his deep affection for our cat.

Plan ahead for Fido and Fluffy: According to the Star-Telegram story, foreclosures present a peculiar problem for pet rescue programs because pets are considered property. That means there could be legal issues with taking an animal from a property.

So pet lovers and shelter program managers are asking folks who are facing foreclosure to take a little time think about their pets, too.

"Please, please don't abandon them," Nancy Peterson of the  national Humane Society of the United States told the newspaper. "Take them to the shelter. That is why we gave the shelters some extra money."

The Humane Society has these tips for pet owners facing foreclosure:

  • Give yourself enough time to move.   
  • Call a pet shelter or apartment-locating service for a list of apartments that allow pets.   
  • Get an agreement from a future landlord that pets are allowed. 
  • Get reference letters to show a future landlord that you are a responsible pet owner.   
  • Tell your veterinarian that the cost of pet care is an issue and only get the minimum vaccinations necessary to keep your pet healthy.

Walking_cat_2 One more request. If you're financially OK and are looking to add a new furry family member, please consider adopting from your local shelter or rescue operation rather than paying big bucks for a pet.

Check your local phone book for the nearest shelter, or use the search feature at Petfinder.

You'll still have to pay a small fee, but that's to make sure your new addition has his or her shots and, in most cases, is spayed or neutered.  But it's a relatively small amount, and very much worth it.

Not only will you save money, you'll save lives.

Cat photo courtesy of karpati & morgueFile.


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Thanks for the link to the story looking at HSUS marketing techniques. In my defense, I don't believe the mention of the HSUS is a promotion of the group as the solution to the problem of pets left homeless by foreclosure. I note that it is offering grants to shelters to help care for foreclosure pets and I list the tips they offer. And yes, I pulled the HSUS spokewoman's quote from the Star-Telegram story and I believe what she says is heartfelt and good advice. I do mention many other places, such as shelters and animal rescue groups, as well as include a link to Petfinder for folks to go to such places near them. And I'm sure your comment will help encourage folks to seek out such places.


I think it's great that you're highlighting this unfortunate consequence of foreclosure, but please do some research before you promote the Humane Society of the U.S. as a "solution" to the problem. I'd suggest starting here:

There are many dedicated organizations out there working hard to assist in these cases that deserve good press more than H$U$.


I couldn't agree more. When my husband and I lived on the coast in Wilmington, NC, we had a game plan to evacuate our animals. We knew we couldn't wait and stay at a local shelter because they do not take in animals. I had a list of pet-friendly hotels, and asked family and friends further in the state if we could stay with them.

When we got our forth animal - a dog, my husband had to come up with a game plan to ensure we get all four animals into our small SUV for evacuation.

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