Over 50 percent of Americans have pets, and many consider their animal companions an integral part of the
family. However, sometimes pets get lost in the shuffle during the home buying and selling process.To
help real estate professionals better serve their clients, Petfinder.com has provided the Coldwell
Banker System with pet transition tips to share with home buyers and sellers.
TIP #1: Move the entire family
Even in times of hardship, encourage clients to take their pets with them when they vacate their home
instead of abandoning them or letting them loose. The comfort and companionship of pets can actually
provide therapeutic benefits to family members by easing the strain of moving to a new residence.
TIP #2: If needed, find a temporary solution during the move
- Make sure the pet always wears a collar with ID and rabies tags are firmly attached.
- Refrain from feeding their pet too much before traveling, in case they get motion sickness.
- If they’re moving to another state, find out what documents, if any, they'll need for their pet.
- Bring the pet’s bed and favorite toys so he'll have familiar items in the new home.
For home buyers / sellers who need to place their pets temporarily while they move, the best
recommendations are to:
TIP #3: Find a loving, new home for “Fido” if all other options have been explored
- Ask family, friends and co-workers if they will care for pets while they relocate.
- Ask the veterinarian if they can receive low-cost boarding for their pets, or set up a payment
plan for boarding costs while they relocate.
- Investigate shelters and organizations that offer to house pets for a period of time (60 days,
for example) for free or at a reduced cost until the family can be reunited with their pets.
It’s important to note however, that if a home owner does not reclaim their pets within the
time period, they may be placed for adoption.
For home buyers / sellers that cannot find temporary placement for their pets or are unable to move
with their pets altogether, the best recommendations are to:
- Visit www.Petfinder.com to search for animal shelters and
rescue organizations in their area that do not euthanize adoptable animals.
- Remind the homeowner to never leave their pet behind, even if faced with a foreclosure. It's
inhumane and may be illegal in some states.
- If homeowners vacate their homes but leave pets indoors or release them outside , state criminal
animal-cruelty laws may apply (e.g., abandoning or neglecting pets), regardless if they believe
they have left sufficient food and water for the animals.
- Even if they leave pets behind and have arranged for someone to periodically check on them, they
may still be in violation of criminal animal-cruelty laws. In addition, when a mortgage lender
takes possession of a home, pets will be removed by the local animal control agency, which will
leave pets at risk of an uncertain future that may include euthanasia.