…when we no longer have a home – There are many tragedies connected with the recession, and one of these is the dilemma about what to do with some special members of our families when we can’t afford to take care of them anymore: our pets.

Many families have been forced to abandon their pets when they face foreclosure on their homes. While some foreclosure victims regrettably leave pets behind to die, there are many more that must make the difficult decision of forsaking a beloved family pet to a shelter or animal rescue group, only compounding the stress they’re already under from losing their homes.

Researcher Betty J. Carmack points out that people facing the loss of their home are making a responsible decision when they choose to take their pet to a shelter, and that doing so in no way negatively reflects on their love for that animal. She says, “It’s important to understand that resolving the accompanying feelings of strong grief, guilt and powerlessness is a process that will take time.”

The guilt and grief are often intensified by the perceived stigma of relinquishing an animal companion. In addition to feelings of loss, foreclosed pet owners often face criticism and accusations of heartlessness from friends, coworkers, shelter employees, or their own family members.

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