Monday, May 04, 2009

Foreclosures Part II - Too close for comfort

The foreclosure discussion has hit a nerve with a number of readers here. I'm sorry to know that at least a couple of commenters have been hit hard themselves and are struggling to work things out while trying to keep their pets in their family. Oh holy stomach knots. It's a reality I can barely imagine without slipping into a low level panic.

This stark reality of the word homeless - home less - really does beg the question: How far would any of us really go to keep our pets?
"It went to hell in a handbasket," she said. "I didn't think this would happen to me. It's just something that I don't think that people think is going to happen to them, is what it amounts to. It happens very quickly, too." - Barbara Harvey, a former loan processor, the 67-year-old mother of three grown children said she never thought she'd spend her golden years sleeping in her car in a parking lot.
This CNN video report from May of last year offers a peek into Barbara's hard times and diehard dedication to her dogs. Life in a Parking Lot

Would you do what she did to keep your pets? Could you? Really?

20 comments:

gnet said...

nice informations, thanks for sharing

Leila said...

I truly believe what has hit those of us who love so much so hard are the stories of the dogs just left behind like refuse. No effort made to rehome, no emotional decision to turn their beloved companions over to a shelter. Just abandon them. We hear the horrific results of these abandonments in the news. The deaths keep piling up. That is the part that is mind boggling.

I get it when people turn their pets in to shelters after exhausting all their other options. I get the heart ache and the emotional toll. I don't get the people who abandon their animals with out a thought, leaving them to suffer emotionally and physcically.

So, the answer to your question Donna is I would do everything in my power and beyond. And after that if I couldn't do any more, then I would surrender my sweet boy. But only then.

Heather B said...

yes I could really.
I am single and 60. I cant imagine living without my dogs. They are my world and my light. I`m only a month away from homeless, every month. Struggling on a government pension of $800 a month is hard but we manage.
We have a roof and a van ~just in case~

kw said...

I was "homeless" for about three months. The lease on my rental house expired and I had not closed on my new house. I bought a foreclosure and the process took forever. I was lucky enough to be able to keep all of my critters with me during that time. I snuck a pit bull and a rottweiler into an apartment complex that banned both of those breeds. Had we gotten caught I would have paid to board them, which would have cost about as much as my mortgage, but I still would have done it.

But...what choice do people who lose their jobs have? Obviously leaving a dog tied up at an empty house isn't the right choice to make, but with rescues so full what recourse do people have besides taking the animals to a shelter?

I'm lucky in that I adopted all of my animals and they are to be returned to the rescues I adopted them from if anything like this happens to me again and I really am left with no other choice. I'm thankful that I have that option.

Millie - Florida said...

I WOULD, I COULD...really!! With all my heart and soul, my dogs are my family, my FAMILY, not my "pet"
Webster defines "pet" as a domesticated animal usually kept for pleasure not utility". Although my dogs do give me pleasure on a daily basis, they are not here to satisfy my whim for it, they are here as part of my family. I would hope I never face what that poor woman faced, but I WOULD, I COULD...really!

Anonymous said...

Obviously these hard economic times are hitting everyone hard. But there is absolutely no reason why a person who had to leave due to foreclosure should leave their dog tied up abandoned in yard!!! There are plenty of places you could have dropped off your animal. If I were in a dire situation and could no longer care for my beloved dog, I would damn well make sure she was taken care of.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I remember that story from last year and I was just thinking of Barbara last week... wondering what happened and if she's still in her car with her dogs. My heart goes out to you, Barbara, and I pray you and your dogs are settled and well.

And yes... I would do the same.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely heartbreaking....I have a lot of respect for the women who refuse to give up their pets and hold out hope that their lives will improve.
Could I do it? I hope that I would have their courage and determination should I be faced with a similar situation. Many of us are only a paycheck or two away from disaster.

s&b/m

Bethany said...

I have cats not dogs, so finding a rental apartment is a little easier, but my mom, brother, and sister are all super allergic so I couldn't stay with them if anything happened. My mom even said "we'll always take you back if your finances go under, but we can't take your cat." I don't think she realized that was more terrifying than reassuring.

Thankfully, I have friends who I'm sure would take my cat in a pinch. I took a friend's cat for a week when she was between apartments and I set up a few friends who would be willing to take my cat if I were unable to keep him--death, serious illness, finances, etc. I wanted to make sure there were backups because I hated seeing the animals at the shelter whose owners had passed away and no family member stepped up to take the pet.

The fear of being separated from my pet does help me pass up spending opportunities and remember to put money into savings for any possible emergency. My emergency fund isn't just so *I* won't live on a box on the Potomac, but so I can keep Toby with me.

Anonymous said...

I could, I would and I have. I was much younger then and only a few years out of college. Going home wasn't an option. I had friends who would let me shower and spend a night here or there, but none could have me stay permanently because of Junior and I certainly wasn't about to give him up. I was back in a place after a few months. The hardest part was finding friends to watch him during the day when I did get a job. He was all that I had left and I was bound and determined not to let us get separated. Maybe it was just youthful moxie. Watching the foreclosures in my neighborhood now, it's always the outdoor dogs that get left behind in the yards. Their families never had an attachment to them (one had signs all over their property "VERY BAD DOG!" to keep people out). The indoor pets who are a loving part of the family are harder to give up. I watch these families struggle to decide what is best for their pets as relatives offer to take them in but not their animals. It's heartbreaking for both.

Dianne said...

I volunteer at a no kill shelter, and people are still leaving dogs "loose" rather than bringing them in because they are afraid they'll be PTS. It's a shame. We are currently looking for a pittie mix who jumped the fence, offering a reward even, and each time I get a lead, the people tell me they are afraid to call animal control... I tell them call AC, they do not have to take the dog but they need to know you have found it.

I have been evicted twice for cat possession. I now own. But I lost my job with one day's notice and it took me 7 months to find another. These people are no worse nor no better than you.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Barbara and others who have lost their homes. I lived in an old motorhome with nonfunctioning toilet, parked in a friend's driveway. I knew I was only having to wait until closing on a house and it was still one of the hardest things to do. At least I had my dogs with me. It was hard on them, too, but to keep them I had to live that way. So yes, I would do that again. I've had other less than optimal situations but that was the worst. I think living in a little car would be harder. I wish I could do something to help those women living in the parking lot.

megan colleen said...

I have family I can go to if my finances go under. They know that Mojo will be with me and I won't give him up. I have a small amount of money set aside but it's hard to make that grow with all of my medical expenses.

Right now I live alone in a house my brother owns but I'm paying the mortgage on it. I don't have kids or a partner. I just have Mojo. No way in hell I will leave him behind...

I work two jobs to keep my head more above water financially. While Mojo helps to keep my head above water emotionally.

I literally can't imagine my life ending up where I'd have to give him up. I have had panic attacks in the past because that idea frightens me so much. I guess a therapist would say I'm co-dependant on him... but I've learned it's better to be co-dependant on Mojo than it is to be on a boyfriend.

I commend Barbara for staying with her dogs... it's admirable.

Burning Moon said...

I know that I could never give up my dog no matter what. I couldn't even take her to a shelter because she would immediately be put to sleep. She would not be safe in anyone's home but mine, because I don't think anyone else, except for maybe you guys, would be able to care for her the way she needs. She's got so many issues and she comes across as aggressive even though she really isn't.

My husband is on a disability and I am unable to work because I don't yet have a Green Card, so we struggle a lot with her issues. We cannot afford the training she so badly needs to help bring out the "good dog" that I know is in her, and even getting their shots on time is a struggle. But I firmly believe that our dogs, especially Noelle, are better off with us and not in some shelter or worse...

Katie Faulkner said...

My Babies will NEVER be without their Mommy! All of them, human and furrkids! I would do what ever it took!

I am from Delaware and our pounds are full of Pits and Pit mixes many of them dumped because of the economy, some of them well over 8-9 years. I just can't imagine telling my babes, "sorry but I don't know what else to do" BS!!!!

I think Bad Rap needs an East Coast Chapter!! We have only a couple of groups in Delaware dedicated to this breed and we need one that is FOCUSED!
Keep up the GREAT job you guys!!!!

Katie
www.FurrButts.com

Martine said...

My heart goes out to everyone dealing with foreclosure, especially those with pets. It's got to be so difficult and hearbreaking to realize you can't care for you beloved pet.

I'm so thankful to groups such as yours and the BT Rescue the take in these sweet pups and help get them into loving homes. If it wasn't for these type of organizations, I never would have been united with my sweet Sugar.

Thank you for all you do!

Martine

Spiderama said...

I've thought about the "what ifs" when it comes to my dogs. If it came down to it, hell yeah! I'd do what ever it took to keep my babies together while we rode out the storm. I volunteer at a shelter and see the heartbreaking realities animals and their people go through because of foreclosure and bad economical times. The volunteer's at the shelter are wonderful and very dedicated to making the animals brought in, feel loved and comfortable as they wait for another home.

My deepest respect goes out to Barbara and other families, facing such heart wrenching decisions on the fate of their animals.

May the Bully-gods watch over each and every one of you.

~Bullymomma~

Anonymous said...

at one point, when my househunt looked hopeless, I had gone so far as to fill out loan paperwork for one of those payday loan places - with $3000 (the max they'd lend), I figured I could buy a really beatup old van or camper and park in a friend's driveway. I had x-pens with tops that could be 'day kennels' but it was FAR from ideal. What scared me most was not the camping part but having my dogs seized and taken away because I was 'unfit'- I could meet their needs for food and vet care and shelter, even if it wasn't a conventional one.

leigha said...

my dogs are my heart, my soul for life. i mean that in every sense. i dont have children, i decided not to have them and instead have dogs and always will have dogs. i love them no matter what. i couldnt sleep at night unless i know my babies are safe and sound. i understand that things happen beyond your control. but you make a commitment when you take in an animal and its a lifelong commitment. if you have no means to care for them you must find someone who can. somehow someway. i dont expect everyone to feel like i do about this commitment but i take it very seriously. i remember the story about that lady staying in her car with her dogs. she obviously is one of those who takes the love and commitment to heart as i do.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are renting a house with two pit bulls and would move in with my mother in a second if it meant keeping our "kids". I often look through the many heartbreaking craigslist postings where people are giving up 12+ year old animals claiming "they deserve more effort than I can give". My relationship with my animals gives back more to me than some of my friendships with humans! (I know most of you would agree.) There is no doubt in my mind that we would do whatever it takes to keep our dogs.

My best friend is a pit bull!