Many pet owners suddenly found themselves with insufficient means to provide for their pets, or were forced to move into rental housing where pets were not allowed. The responsible owners took their pets to shelters; others simply abandoned their pets or left them without food in their vacated homes.
Foreclosed Upon Pets, Inc. (FUPI) was formed to specifically address the rapid increase in abandoned and otherwise homeless pets. The FUPI website explains:
Foreclosed Upon Pets, Inc (FUPI) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the rescue of domesticated animals that have been abused and/or abandoned by their owners as a result of economic hardship, including home foreclosure, loss of employment, insufficient income, or death and illness.
FUPI is staffed by volunteers who work incredibly hard to look after the cats and dogs at the FUPI shelter and to find both short-term fostering and long-term adoption for the pets that come into their care. While donations to fund their operations are always welcome (and tax deductible), and volunteers are also sought, the most important help anyone can give FUPI is to help find forever homes for the animals.
FUPI has regular sessions at Petsmart where you can meet some of their pets. Dates and times are listed on their website or you can e-mail FUPI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively you can go to their website for currently available cats and dogs. Their adoptable pets are also listed through the national Petfinder service. FUPI also has a page at Facebook.
Many of the animals FUPI adopts out have had difficult pasts; that is usually why they are at FUPI in the first place. These difficulties range from the trauma of losing their homes and families to neglect and abuse. As a result, adopting these animals can involve a little more work than picking up a kitten or puppy at the local pet store.
The extra work is worth it. The young man below is Looey (a.k.a. Ludo Louis IX). The details of his story are not known, but he was found abandoned and in pretty poor physical shape. He is mostly Maine Coon and his magnificent coat had become seriously matted. In addition to his painful physical condition, his response to humans made it clear he had suffered considerable trauma, somewhere on the spectrum from neglect to actual abuse.
Such animals do not show well to potential adopters and Looey was in temporary foster care for over a year. His foster Mom did a magnificent job of helping heal his psyche, but he was extremely frightened of unknown people.
For the first four or five days after joining my household, Looey lived under my bed. Concerned that he would dehydrate I fed him bits of wet food on a fork. As he began to trust me he ventured a few feet out from the bed and accepted his meals from a bowl.
He now runs my apartment. In fact based on the above picture it seems his only adversary is his shadow, and he's winning that battle.
Most of you reading this will not currently have room for a new pet. However, many of you know someone whose life would be enriched through adopting a pet from FUPI. The benefits of a forever home to the animal are beyond measure.
Please share this post with anyone you know in the Las Vegas area, and if you live in other parts of the country or the world, please consider adopting a pet or supporting shelters like FUPI in whatever way you can.