No Dog Left Behind, The Chuckie Project
No Dog Left Behind, the Chuckie Project, is a program designed to bring awareness regarding the silent victims of the foreclosure crisis, abandoned pets alone and frightened, left behind in an empty home. This trend is increasing in numbers with no immediate end in sight and it is these helpless victims of the mortgage crisis that suffer. We offer care for the pets left behind providing shelter, food and veterinary assistance. We provide support services for those who find foreclosure imminent and need help to find shelter for their beloved dogs; and are a resource for those who find or know of abandoned dogs. No Dog Left Behind, is a community outreach program for people who would otherwise abandon their dogs due to unforseen circumstances or emergency situations. Named for Chuckie, a sweet 9 year old lab who was left at a high-kill shelter because her family lost their home due to foreclosure, this program works to provide resources to keep dogs with their family.
Our goal/mission is to help all homeowners facing foreclosure to find a new home and/or temporary adoption for their pets until they can get back on their feet. Pets are being left behind to fend for themselves and in many cases this results in starvation and death. These animals cannot survive on their own and simply do not deserve this treatment.
You are losing your home
Many times, an animal is not taken to a shelter for care, for fear of the pet being euthanized. Other options can be worse for your pet. Remember, there are solutions. No Kill shelters will attempt to find adoptive families and good homes for dogs that are surrendered. Foster care is available for temporary care until permanent living solutions are found. Hero’s Friends website outlines a number of resources. Our goal is to keep families together.
Have a plan. Helpful tips for you and your pet before it’s too late.
Thousands of pets are losing their homes and their lives because of the housing crisis. We want to help people and their pets with some simple guidelines to follow if you are one of the unfortunate people losing your home. Take the time to figure out your options now.
Plan ahead, so you aren’t forced to take your pet to animal control. If you receive a foreclosure notice it’s very important to begin the process of where your pet will go immediately. It is much easier to have a solution with more time to plan. Spay and neuter and vetted pets are easier to place.
Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations. It’s much easier to place a pet into rescue or a permanent home if they are completely vetted. There are many low cost spay/neuter programs that can fit most budgets. Resources are listed in the Resource section of this website. Turning your pet loose it not an option.
Do not drop your pet on the side of the road thinking it’s a better option than animal control. Domesticated pets have no idea how to survive in the wild and will likely be hit by a car, killed by another animal, starve to death or die of disease. None of these options are better than animal control. There is no guarantee that your pet will not be euthanized but at least they will have food and shelter until that decision has to be made. Use internet resources.
Use all of the internet resources available to help find your pet a new home. There are hundreds of websites available if you are willing to do a little work. Google rescue groups, look for no-kill shelters, check for dog Foundations, visit www.petfinder.com . Take great photos and videos so people can see your pet at their best. Look outside the state.
Check outside of the State for other rescue groups. If you have a purebred dog there are many rescues that are breed specific and can be a great resource. There are states that don’t have the huge issue of homeless pets and you may be able to transport your pet to one of those states. Be sure to ask if the rescue has a waiting list and if they do get on it. Be patient.
This will not happen overnight. Many rescues are overwhelmed with the number of requests received every week. We know these are trying times for everyone but if we work together we will make it through and save lives.
Find a no kill shelter:
Find a pet friendly apartment:
Are you a realtor or lender? We can provide a needed resource to those of you who happen upon a dog left behind. These animals are scared, probably starving for food and affection. They are lonely and confused. They have been through a horrible ordeal. They need our help. Please call us immediately. We will coordinate with animal services and take the dog to a temporary shelter while we assess their needs. Please do not just drop the dog off at a nearby shelter. It is most likely a high-kill shelter and will most certainly be put down in a matter of days. Tips for Mortgage Lenders When Foreclosing on a Home With Pets With the increase in home foreclosures, mortgage lenders are often finding family pets left behind in vacated homes.
Following are tips for properly handling instances of pets abandoned inside or outside the home. (Please consult with your district attorney’s office to verify the local applicability of these tips.):
- If you have started monthly delinquency inspections, check for pets inside and outside at all inspections.
- If entry is not legally allowed, an outside inspection may result in the discovery of barking, or pets may be seen inside, through the windows, or found outside tethered or in kennels.
- Always check with neighbors to determine if the vacating family had pets.
- If a period of time must elapse before you can legally enter the home, be aware that pets may become injured or ill or may die from neglect and abandonment in the interim. Please work with your local district attorney’s office and animal control agency to develop a protocol to protect abandoned pets from harm. The following procedures to locate and protect abandoned pets may be suitable in your jurisdiction:
- When conducting an inspection of the outside of the home, listen for animal sounds, look in windows for pets, check the backyard and consult with neighbors regarding the presence of pets.
- If pets are known or suspected to be on the property, the inspector or mortgage lender should immediately call the local animal control agency or animal shelter and ask that an officer come to the home for suspicion of animal abandonment and/or neglect. All 50 states have animal neglect laws that require pet owners to provide sufficient food, water and shelter for pets. If a homeowner vacated the home and failed to provide sufficient food, water or shelter, animal control has the authority to investigate.
- Once the officer arrives at the home, if pets are seen inside and no food and water is visible; if pets are left outside and food, water or shelter are insufficient; or if neighbors confirm that pets reside in the home and the provisions are unknown, the officer should ask the district attorney for a search warrant to enter the home to determine whether the pets are abandoned and/or neglected.
- If a search warrant is obtained and the officer enters the home and finds pets without sufficient food and water, the officer may be permitted to seize the animals and place them at the animal shelter while an investigation is pursued. If animals have been left outside without sufficient provisions, the search warrant will also allow the officer to seize the pets for safekeeping. If this seizure occurs within a time period in which the mortgage lender is waiting to legally seize the home and foreclose, the animals will be kept safe. If the homeowner does not return to reclaim the pets during the time period in which the mortgage lender is waiting to seize the home, then the animal shelter can deem the pets abandoned and place them for adoption and/or institute criminal animal-cruelty charges against the homeowner. To avoid having pets left behind and potentially seized by an animal shelter, mortgage lenders and their affiliates should take preventive steps to advise homeowners what to do in the event of foreclosure.
We recommend providing homeowners with American Humane Society’s Tips for Homeowners With Pets When Facing Home Foreclosure to inform homeowners about the perils of leaving pets behind, so they can take appropriate, responsible steps to safely house animals when vacating a home. Direct them to Hero’s Friends for assistance.
"Thanks for saving my friends" ....Chuckie
Chuckie is a nine year old lab who was listed as urgent in the North Central LA Shelter. Her family lost their home to foreclosure. She found herself alone in a shelter but now lives happily with her new forever family.