Canine casualties of the mortgage crisis

January 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
People aren't the only ones losing their homes to the worsening mortgage crisis. Here in the Bay Area, pets are being abandoned when their owners are forced to move out. However, a group of realtors in East Contra Costa County has taken it upon themselves to offer these animals a helping hand.

Two Pit Bull puppies were abandoned by a tenant who moved out of a foreclosed property in Pittsburg. They are the canine casualties of the mortgage crisis.

"He has abandoned his pit bulls. They have been there for two days without anyone taking care of them. So now, we're working on getting a Pitt Bull rescue group to come out and take them, so we don't have to take them to the shelter."

The puppies are just the latest animals found by the agents of Brentwood's Amaral and Associates, a firm that specializes in selling bank-owned properties.

At one home in Antioch, the realtors found seven abandoned animals. They found three birds, three dogs, and one turtle in the backyard that was dead.

The owners came back for the birds, but not the dogs, which were all adopted by new families.

"What she ended up doing was living in a hole in the sheetrock."

Sales associate Kirsten Amodeo rescued a calico cat from a foreclosed property in Oakley.

"I had to sit on the carpet for about ten minutes making 'kissy, kissy, coo-coo' sounds, hoping she would come out. And she finally popped out, and made friends with me."

The cat now has a new permanent home with a family on Bethel Island.

More turtles were discovered inside a home in Discovery Bay. Now, the turtles reside at a preschool in Brentwood.

"At nap time, we'll all sit, even the teachers, and watch them. They're interesting," says Lynette Torrez, preschool director.

According to the law, the realtors in Pittsburg can't remove the Pit Bulls from the property for 18 days to give the owners time to reclaim them.

Until then, the realtors, turned animal rescuers, will feed them and try to find the puppies a new home with a family that won't leave them behind.

If anyone is interested in adopting the pit bull pups, please call Coldwell Banker Amaral Associates in Brentwood at (925) 513-2514.