Lifeline aids foreclosure victims The Lost Our Home Pet Foundation is dedicated to helping pets put at risk due to the housing crisis.
Dogs are yet another victim of the foreclosure epidemic plaguing the nation, especially in the Phoenix area. Too many times to count, former mortgage banker Jodi Polanski heard heart-wrenching stories of families forced to move out of their homes due to foreclosure, leaving their pets behind to fend for themselves. Often, those animals weren't discovered until a real estate agent came to the house in preparation for its sale. Polanski knew this had to stop.
In 2008 she founded the Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, dedicated to helping pets put at risk due to the housing crisis. The organization started small and quickly grew.
"It exploded because the need was so much bigger than I ever imagined," says Polanski, the group's executive director.
"These animals are the innocent victims. They don't have a choice. They didn't do anything wrong."
The organization has helped more than 2,000 pets. . What makes this group unique is that it reaches out not only to abandoned dogs, but also to dogs at risk of being abandoned. The foundation offers a temporary haven for pets owned by people facing immediate foreclosure who need time to find new, pet-friendly housing arrangements.
"They just lost their home," Polanski says. "They don't want to lose their family, too." .
The group also allows people battling financial issues and foreclosure to surrender their dogs to them instead of abandoning the pets or turning them in to high-kill shelters. Many of LOH's dogs come from these types of situations.
LOH provides food, spay-neutering services, and supplies to owners who cannot afford these things. It even serves as a resource between renters and real estate agents, helping owners find pet-friendly housing.
Today LOH houses abandoned and surrendered dogs at a new boarding shelter and with foster families. Roughly 120 volunteers assist the group in these efforts, but more help is needed, Polanski says. Real estate professionals are a huge source for locating abandoned dogs, getting them to LOH, and letting owners know that LOH is there to help.
As Polanski says, "There are people who want to do the right thing, but they don't know where to turn."
For more information about Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, call 602-230-HELP (4357) or visit www.lostourhome.org
— Kyra Kirkwood
The efforts of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation to aid and rescue dogs inspired FreeKibble.com
, a website dedicated to providing nutritious food to shelter animals, to donate 5,000 meals to LOH.