Phoenix shelter helps pet owners who have fallen on tough times

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by Kristine Harrington

Bio | Email | Follow: @kharrington3tv

azfamily.com

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Updated Thursday, May 3 at 4:42 PM

PHOENIX -- Renting is at a 15-year high and one reason why is homeowners have been forced to foreclose. As a result, previous homeowners with pets are finding it especially difficult to find a place that will accept animals.

But now "Lost Our Home Pet Foundation" is a place where people who have fallen on tough times can surrender their pets, or if they are dedicated to keeping them, they can take advantage of the food bank assistance program or even the temporary care program.

“We are the only organization in the Valley whose mission it is to help pets who are affected by foreclosure or financial reasons,” said Jodi Polanski, founder of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. “We have over 200 pets in the rescue right now, 20 at the shelter, and in the last four years since we opened we've rescued almost 2,000 pets.”

Polanski was a mortgage broker who watched the foreclosure crisis take a toll not only on people but their pets, too. It's what motivated her to launch the foundation and while the foreclosure crisis may be be winding down, many people are still in the midst of an economic crisis.

“Our biggest trend we're finding is people give up their pets because they can't find a place to live with their pets,” Polanski said. So now in addition to taking in abandoned pets, Polanski also offers temporary care.
 
It's a service for which Curtis Olson is completely grateful. Because while he may have lost his apartment he sure doesn’t want to lose his cats, Frisky and Buddy.

“They miss us and we miss them so that's why we come down here and visit them every day,” Olson said.
 
The temporary care is a service that keeps families together even during the toughest of times.

Temporary care is offered for up to 90 days and there is also a pet food bank.
 
"So if somebody can't afford pet food, we want to be able to provide them pet food and supplies that they need," Polanski said.

And after four years of operating this rescue from her home, Polanski now has a shelter where dogs and cats up for adoption can be easily showcased.

“If it wasn't for the community and donations we get, we couldn't do it,” Polanski said.

The shelter is having its grand opening May 12. For more information on that or how to get assistance for your pet, visit http://lostourhome.rescuegroups.org.

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