Lost Our Home Pet Foundation helping animals left behind

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PHOENIX - Homeowners across the Valley aren't the only ones falling victim to foreclosure, so are many of their pets. 3TV shows us how a certain group of professionals banded together and stop the disturbing trend.

“We found that the economy has not been discriminating against anyone,” realtor Erin Kvist said.

She is used to finding surprises when she walks into foreclosed homes, but when Kvist who is with Remax Mosaic Properties started to find more and more abandoned pets, she knew something had to change.
 
“They were left inside the house in the middle of the summer, locked in the house with no food and water,” Kvist said. “We think they were they’re for about a month.”

And Kvist wasn't just finding cats and dogs.

“We show up to homes where they are chickens and horses,” Kvist continued.

While Kvist wanted to save every animal, she just couldn't which is why she was excited to learn about a Valley non-profit group called Lost Our Home Pet Foundation.

“I kept hearing these stories about realtors finding these pets abandoned in houses,” Jodi Polanski said. “I would always wonder what they would do when they find these pets.”

Polanski decided to take matters into her own hands by forming the foundation two years ago. It's made up of real estate professionals who rescue pets left behind in foreclosed homes.

“The last two years we've rescued almost 1000 pets,” Polanski said.

In the last two years, the foundation has expanded its services by establishing a food bank, offering adoptions and even setting up a foster program.

“We've fed over 3500 pets in our food bank and reunited 80 pets with their owner again through the temporary placement,” Polanski said. “If someone has lost a home to foreclosure or eviction and their in between homes and are going to stay with a family member temporarily, but can't take the pet with them, and don't want to lose the pet, we will foster them.”

Tami Shaw is one of the many people helped by the foundation. When her home went into foreclosure back in July, she was desperate to find new places for five of her cats.
  
“I had pictures at work,” Shaw said. “I had pictures at the grocery store, everywhere I had pictures of my animals and one day at work a lady told me about Lost Our Home.”

Polanski was able to place Shaw’s animals with one of her foster homes.

“You can't imagine how you feel because you don't feel like you have anywhere to turn,” Shaw said.

While it's been a tough road, Shaw believes she found a place that really cares about what happens not only to her cats, but all animals.

“They've been marvelous, a godsend,” Shaw said.

Now you don't have to be in real estate to help out this group. They're always looking for donations, foster homes and volunteers. For more information log onto www.lostourhome.org