Three dogs left outside an abandoned foreclosed home for weeks were rescued Tuesday after shelter operators said the pack was vulnerable to predators and starvation.
The dogs were left without food or water, but a Good Samaritan appeared to have taken over feeding duties until workers with the Glendale Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, picked up the trio Tuesday evening.
Representatives for Property Masters Realty discovered the dogs when they arrived to secure the two-story Glendale house on Delisle Court off North Verdugo Road.
"The whole home was full of urine and feces," said Erik Reppe, chief financial officer for Property Masters Realty. The house was foreclosed on Aug. 3, 2009, but the tenants had avoided eviction until late June.
The dogs were picked up and taken to the Glendale Humane Society after word of their condition spread.
"I thought if they don't get out of here, they could easily be mountain lion or coyote bait," she said.
Last year, mountain lions were spotted in the nearby area, and one dog was killed in the backyard of a north Glendale home in August 2009.
Property Masters Realty workers contacted Cheryl Lang — founder of No Paws Left Behind Inc., a nonprofit that rescues pets that are left behind due to foreclosure — after the discovery.
She had been posting the situation on social networking websites, looking for someone to take the dogs in.
"We are sensitive about the animal thing, one out of 10 homeowners leave pets behind," Reppe said.
Lang, who lives in Houston, reached out to one of her representatives in the Los Angeles area, Robert Buchanan, who owns a property inspection and preservation company for faulty mortgage loans.
The dogs weren't in the best of conditions, Buchanan said.
"They were pretty lethargic and trying to hide in whatever shade they could find," he said. "They were just happy that someone was bringing them food and water."
Buchanan has been trying to feed the dogs at the house every three days and said this isn't the first time he's seen this happen.
"I've been in this business now for almost 20 years, I come across this all the time," he said. "Sometimes you find them and the dogs are dead."
The dogs weren't the only things the former residents left behind. A notice posted on July 6 listed sofas, chairs, a computer printer, two television sets, various shoes and other personal items that remained at the house.
A tenant, who asked to not be named, said the dogs were not his and that the homeowners who rented him the room never mentioned the foreclosure.
"Basically, I got duped," he said.
An increase in the number of abandoned pets in foreclosed homes prompted Lang to start her rescue operation in 2008, when the economic meltdown started to pick up steam.
"You don't know how to plan for a financial disaster," she said. "They usually think it's someone else's problem."
While Linda Rich, who lives next to the house, acknowledged the economic downturn might have played a factor, she wondered why the dogs weren't taken to the Glendale Humane Society to begin with.
"It's terrible," she said. "I didn't think it happened here."
"It's completely and totally irresponsible," said Russell, the director of the Glendale shelter. "It doesn't take much to drop them off. They don't look at pets as family members, but more as disposable."
As for their future, Lang said she is hoping the dogs will be adopted as a group.
"It would be nice if they stayed together; they've bonded," she said. "But that probably won't happen."