Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: Helpless Victims of the Economic Crisis- Abandoned Animals

Helpless Victims of the Economic Crisis- Abandoned Animals

This is an awesome post about a tragic situation!

Helpless Victims Of The Economic Crisis- Abandoned Animals
Should I be crying after showing property? That's the question that I asked myself as I drove home on a recent Saturday afternoon after showing homes to a client. Earlier that day we happened across 2 abandoned dogs living all alone at a house in Los Angeles.

The house was listed as a short sale, but the agent told me that the owner was in the process of moving out and may already be gone. Sure enough, the house was vacant and the dogs were living in the crawl space under the home. They had no food and no water but had a way to get in and out of the property. I'm not sure if that was a positive or negative though.

We went and got food and water and poured it into some bowls that we found in the yard and called animal control and the listing agent.

The listing agent never returned my call and apparently animal control never showed up because I went back 2 weeks later, after not being able to get them out of my thoughts, and found that the poor dogs were still there. Their ribs were beginning to show and they were literally covered in hundreds of fleas and each one had about a half dozen ticks burrowed into it's skin.

I knew I had to do something! After 5 hours on the phone with no kill shelters I realized that this abandoned
animal issue had become an epidemic. All of the shelters were completely full throughout Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles counties and cited the crumbling economy and surge in foreclosures as the primary reason.

I learned that L.A. shelters are considered to be high kill shelters and they may not even keep the animals for the standard 72 hours before putting them down. I had no idea that over 10,000,000 animals are euthanized each year in the United States just because the city shelters don't have enough room or money to house and feed them.

Long story short, my husband and I picked them up, got rid of their fleas and ticks and are giving them a safe, warm place to sleep at night and lots of love. We're trying to find them a permanent home, since our yard is not set up for outdoor pets and I'm allergic to all animals. They're beautiful, loving dogs though and my heart will break when I have to let them go.

So what can we all do to help this epidemic of abandoned animals?




  1. You can do something that's completely free! Every day log onto and click on the purple "Click Here to Give" button". This site's sponsors provide food and care to rescued animals for every click they receive each day. You can also sign up to receive a daily email reminder to click, which makes it SO simple and easy!
  2. Click here to sign the petition to urge Congress to support and approve the "HAPPY Act", H.R. 3501.  This act will make up to $3,500 of qualifying pet care expenses tax deductible. This could seriously help with the issue of abandoned and orphaned animals in the U.S.
  3. If you're thinking of getting a pet, please take a look at these sites: and and consider adopting a pet from one of their affiliate rescue organizations, or check on other sites like Craigslist instead of buying from a pet store or breeder. Our good friends just adopted a 1 yr old pure bred Maltese for FREE, from a family on Craigslist! She is completely trained and came with a bed, collar, food, etc... 
  4. If you live in Southern California and have a pet that you can no longer care for, please contact Friends of Animals at (310) 479-5089. They can fax you a 2 page list of no kill shelters that may have space for your animal if they don't have room themselves. If you live outside of Southern California you can find many shelters and sanctuaries online. Just search for "no kill shelters" along with your city and/or state name.
  5. Have your animals spayed and neutered. If you're having financial difficulties, there are low-cost and free clinics that can be found through the ASPCA website mentioned above. Simply hover over "Pet Care" and choose from "dog care" or "cat care". On the left side of the page you'll see the orange link to search for a clinic in your area.
  6. Consider becoming a "foster parent" for abandoned and orphaned animals in need. The ASPCA provides food, supplies, medications, etc... for those who foster animals from their New York City shelter. Many non profit animal rescue organizations do not have facilities and are in need of foster homes for these beautiful animals. The organizations that you are fostering for will show the animals at local pet adoption events and list them on their website for permanent adoption. 
  7. Consider donating your time or money to one of these organizations. In addition to monetary gifts, they are in need of volunteers to help out with the animals.

I hope that all of the animal lovers of the world will step up and do what they can to assist these truly helpless victims of the economic crisis, abandoned animals.

Comment balloon 7 commentsLisa Wetzel • October 10 2009 07:35AM


Lisa - How sad to learn of the epidemic that has plaged our nation.  It is always the innocent - children and animals that are silent victums and need someone to speak out for them.  Thank you for sharing and caring.

Posted by Kari Battaglia, PA, Love Where You Live (RE/MAX Platinum Realty) over 10 years ago

Lisa, they say "Angels" surface from unexpected places in times of crisis. For these animals, you appeared when they desperately needed help so you were their Angel.

Posted by Gloria Laughton Allston, Realtor(NJ)/Broker(NY) (COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE) over 10 years ago

These are tragic situations and bless you for helping these pets.  The organization I volunteer with, New England Pet Partners in So. NH, has given a lot of donations to help place these pets... it is so sad to think they will be killed if they don't find a home.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 10 years ago

This post breaks my heart. I already click every day on the Animal Rescue Site and I have a rescue German Shepherd and a pile of stray cats that seem to have ended up at my house. You're right, the economic situation has created an epidemic of abandoned animals. Take a look at the cost of once-cheap dog and cat food and it's clear why families that are having a hard time feeding themselves can't afford to feed animals. People can't give horses away any more and there's an epidemic of horses being turned loose in state forests to fend for themselves when their owners can no longer afford to keep them.

Posted by Leslie Helm, Real Estate For Trail Riders (Tennessee Recreational Properties) over 10 years ago

Lisa - I can just lookinto our back yard and find out how important "Animal Rescue" is to you!  I feed them every day!

Posted by Jim Valentine (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 10 years ago

Lisa, what a tragic mess this has become.  Those two little guys now have a chance because of you.  We have a rescue kitty from the "Happy Tails" program here in Sacramento and  she had been discovered under an abandoned house also.  We have been talking about getting another one.  Somehow I think our new pet will arrive via the same route as yours.

Posted by Cathy McAlister, Sacramento DRE#00648507 (Cathy Ashley McAlister, GRI CDPE - Broker / Sacramento ) over 10 years ago

Lisa, I've rescued abandoned pets too.. It's so sad when they are left to fend for themselves. You did a very good thing. 

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 10 years ago