By Avra Sullivan
Seeing the problems many homeowners are facing with foreclosures, real estate broker Lynn Semenuk has discovered another dilemma; what to do with the family pet. “Many of these homeowners are having to turn to renting”, explains Lynn. Landlords generally require at least one, if not two months rent, and if an animal is involved will often require a pet deposit. This creates a difficult and often heart wrenching decision for the owner.
“Wouldn’t it be better if the animal could stay with the family that loves them?” This question prompted Lynn to start Furry Friends Rescue, an organization that will provide pet owners with the deposits required for pets by most landlords. While still in the developing stage, Lynn is busy planning fundraisers, reaching out to the community and gathering a team together to help make this a reality. “We’re looking at holding a yard sale, a car wash and possibly a bake sale in the near future.” Says Lynn
In the event a homeowner is unable to produce a pet deposit, Lynn would personally meet with the family or individual. “This is for responsible pet owners who love their pets but are just unable to afford the added money of a pet deposit,” says Lynn. Funds will go directly to the Landlord and Lynn will be there to assist both the family and the landlords throughout the whole process. Being in the real estate business for over 20 years, Lynn is familiar with the renting process and understands the problems associated with pets and renting. While she agrees that taking on a tenant with a pet can be a risk to the landlord, as a long time animal lover and pet owner herself, she “can’t imagine having to give up my own dog.” Lynn also plans on contributing to her own organization. A percentage of any commission from her real estate business, Home Selling Assistance Plus, will go into Furry Friends. She is also working with local shelters, veterinary hospitals and animal rescues to help inform pet owners that they have another option besides dropping their animals off at a shelter, or worse yet, abandoning them.
While at the moment Furry Friends is focused on providing deposits to help pets stay with their families, Lynn is optimistic about the future. “I’d love to at some point, help offer veterinary exams and basic vet care and vaccines to pet owners.”
Anyone wishing to volunteer their time to help Lynn and homeowners bring Furry Friends to fruition, may contact Lynn directly at 410-827-5652. She is specifically in search of someone who may be able to help her in creating a website for Furry Friends.