For the Greater Good Lost Our Home Pet Rescue

Lost our home

By Jodi Polanski

As a local mortgage banker, I saw first-hand the devastating impact the housing crisis was having on people and their pets. People were losing their homes, but pets were losing their homes, their families and their lives. A self-proclaimed animal lover, I was hearing stories daily from real estate agents and other mortgage bankers about animals abandoned in foreclosed homes or about families unable to keep their pets due to instability in their living situations.

The need for assistance was apparent and I was determined to identify resources to help mitigate the effects the economic downturn was having on people and their pets. It soon became evident that there was no single agency dedicated to helping people in crisis situations keep their pets and so Lost Our Home was born. It started as a grassroots fostering initiative that I ran out of my condo and nine years later has grown into an organization that provides alternative solutions to families who would otherwise have to give up their beloved pets.

Since Lost Our Home was established in 2008, we have helped more than 20,000 pets in need through our various programs including our pet food bank, temporary care program, low-income boarding program, pet-friendly rental program and animal rescue program for abandoned or owner All of these programs provide critical support systems for families that are experiencing financial hardships such as foreclosure, homelessness , job loss, illness or injury. Our most recent partnership with the Sojourner Center in Phoenix, the largest domestic violence shelter in Arizona, enables women fleeing abuse to keep their pets with them while they heal.

The shelter also serves to improve the community by collaborating with work-readiness programs that provide employment training to individuals with physical or mental disabilities and those who have been unemployed for an extended period. Work coaches offer guidance on how to take direction, complete tasks and communicate with people. Those enrolled receive the assistance they need to help them enter or reintegrate into the workforce with the understanding of what it means to complete a job well done.

As an organization, we focus on strengthening the bonds between people and their pets and strive to keep families together. We also seek to create a loving environment for the pets who are in our care. With more than 300 dedicated volunteers, we promote the health and well-being of the animals at the shelter through a variety of enrichment programs. Whether they are walking dogs outside or on our indoor treadmills, fostering dogs or cats in their homes, attending adoptions events, or transporting animals to veterinary appointments, these volunteers help to make the life-saving work we do possible.

When you visit the shelter, you can feel the love and attention that the animals who are here receive. In so many cases, we are the buffer that keeps these dogs and cats out of kill shelters and offers their families the resources they need to regain stability and reunite with their pets. For those who feel they will not be able to care for their pet again, they have the comfort of knowing that we are a no-kill shelter that will find their pets a new, loving family.

Lost Our Home Pet Rescue is the only nonprofit, no kill pet rescue based in the Phoenix metropolitan area whose mission is dedicated to providing compassionate services to pets and pet parents in crisis. To learn more about the shelter, please visit www.lostourhome.org.