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Local group rescues pets left behind in tough times

Local group rescues pets left behind in tough times

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED May 18, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Pets are like family. But too often, they're abandoned when people lose their homes to foreclosure and are forced to leave their pets behind.

Even as the economy improves, a local group that rescues these animals said it's still busy.

Laura Lamb had to give up her 9-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Rosco, and a second dog to rescue groups after falling on tough times. She said her home went through a short-sale several months ago.

"It's better than leaving them and not knowing what's going to happen. It's hard but it's much easier to know that they're going to go to a new home to be taken care of," said Lamb.

But that's not always the case. The non-profit group "Foreclosed Upon Pets" said it still receives calls from neighbors who find pets left behind in vacant, foreclosed homes.

"When we see situations like that, we do the best we can to get those dogs into our system and re-home them to good homes," explained Everett Croxson, executive director.

While national numbers show signs of an improving economy, Nevada's unemployment and foreclosure rates are among the worst in the nation. Croxson said the number of rescue calls is about 25 a week; that's down from a peak of 75 in 2009. But he said people are still struggling and the pet population is still large.

"It's still bad. The numbers have come down a little bit but it's still very, very bad," said Croxson.

Some of the rescued pets are cared for at a home near downtown, while others end up in foster homes throughout the Valley.

The group said foreclosure is the number one reason for dog abandonment in pets they rescue. Croxson said his group is also working with local shelters to send some dogs to other parts of the country and Canada, where they are in high demand and have better chances of finding new homes.

"It's just terrible that someone would leave their dog that they're supposed to love," said Lamb.

But that's still the reality. When some people leave their homes, they leave their pets with them.

"Foreclosed Upon Pets" said follow Lamb's lead and give your pet to someone who can take care of it, if you're struggling.

If you're interested in adopting one of the animals in need, click here.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.