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The sub-prime loan meltdown burns pets

Last night, Steve Kroft gave the mortgage crisis the 60 Minutes treatment—focusing on Stockton, California, where 4,200 homes are either in default or foreclosure. It was a totally depressing report on how risky loans drove a housing boom that went bust, with the sad perspective of homeowners facing financial ruin and eviction.

What Kroft didn’t mention were the collateral victims—pets. According to a story in Stockton’s daily paper, The Record, foreclosures are creating a secondary crisis for people who cannot find or afford new housing that will allow them to keep their animals. And it’s not just in Stockton or California. Animal abandonment cases and pet surrender rates are surging around the country, in Cincinnati, Toledo, Charlotte, and El Paso.

Volunteers at the Evergreen Animal Protective League (Bark, October/November 2007) in Colorado seemed to have clued into the crisis early. Last summer, they said foreclosures were among the top reasons for pet surrenders in a region hard-hit by the mortgage crisis. (For more than a year, Colorado’s ranked among the highest foreclosure rates in the country.) The Evergreen Animal Protective League steps in with a novel and neighborly solution of temporarily fostering pets until guardians get back on their feet and into a new pet-friendly home.

Lisa Wogan

January 28, 2008 in Current Affairs, Humane | Permalink


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