Pint-Sized Pup Pays Price After Eviction & Owners’ Divorce

As the nation’s housing crisis persists, animal rescues are witnessing a troubling trend – an influx of pets being surrendered due to their owners’ personal hardships. The story of Palmer, a two-year-old Pug/Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix, exemplifies this struggle.

Pint-Sized Pup Pays Price After Eviction & Owners' Divorce

A Sweet Companion in Need of a New Home

Palmer was surrendered to Lovebugs Rescue in San Clemente, California, by his owners who were undergoing a painful divorce and eviction. While one of his brothers has since found a new home, Palmer, just 13 pounds, and his remaining sibling are still waiting for theirs.

“It was an agonizing decision for them, you could see the pain in their eyes,” said Kelly Hammons from Lovebugs Rescue.

While one of Palmer’s brothers has since been adopted, the two-year-old pup and his remaining sibling are still awaiting their forever homes.

dog up for adoption: Innocent Pup Pays the Price as Housing Crisis Continues

Known for his friendly demeanor, Palmer is remarkably affectionate and good on a leash. He adores children and is sociable with other dogs, making him an excellent companion for almost any family. Despite his small size, Palmer’s personality is large, and he is ready to bring joy to those he meets.

The Rising Issue of Pet Surrender Due to Housing Insecurity

Lovebugs has witnessed a 25% increase in owner surrenders this year. The non-profit attributes this surge to the mounting financial pressures that often leads to divorce.

The lifting of the eviction moratorium, initially placed during the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen a surge in eviction rates. An estimated 2.7 million households face eviction each year, with a significant portion of these being pet owners. This has led to an overflow in animal shelters, with many pets like Palmer being surrendered.

Emily Klehm, CEO of the South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights, Illinois, notes that while shelter populations have increased by as much as 30% since 2019, adoption rates have sadly decreased by the same margin. This discrepancy highlights the severe impact of housing insecurity on pet ownership and the critical need for supportive resources.

dog up for adoption: Innocent Pup Pays the Price as Housing Crisis Continues

What Can Be Done?

For those facing eviction, it’s important to know that there are options available. Organizations like Lovebugs Rescue work tirelessly to provide temporary homes for pets in distress, ensuring that the bond between pets and their owners can hopefully be preserved.

1. Understand Your Rights as a Pet Owner

Even if your lease prohibits pets or you’re in a pet-free building, you might still have legal options. Learn about tenant rights in your state or city regarding pets. If eligible, consider register your dog as an emotional support or assistance animal., which could allow you to keep them regardless of your housing situation, with appropriate medical documentation.

2. Use Pet Food Pantries

When finances are tight due to housing issues, feeding your pet can become a challenge. Look for local pet food banks that offer free supplies to struggling pet owners.

Check out this directory of nationwide pet food pantries or search “pet food pantry near me” to find resources in your area. 

Innocent Pup Pays the Price When Owners Lose Their Home

3. Utilize Mobile Vet Clinics

Veterinary care can be costly. Mobile vet clinics, often funded by animal welfare organizations, provide free or low-cost services like vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and general check-ups in underserved areas.

4. Consider Temporary Foster Care

Innocent Pup Pays the Price When Owners Lose Their Home

If you’re currently unable to care for your pet, consider temporary foster programs. These services provide short-term care for pets, allowing owners time to stabilize their living situation. Search online for local foster care options.

5. Search for Grants

Although the process can be slow and a little frustrating, dog owners that are facing eviction or housing insecurity may be eligible for charitable grants. Designed to provide resources, financial assistance, and support to pet owners in need, programs like the Banfield Foundation donate millions to support animals and the people that love them. 

6. Surrender, Never Abandon

Innocent Pup Pays the Price When Owners Lose Their Home

In extreme cases, if keeping your pet is no longer feasible, opt to surrender rather than abandon them. Shelters understand the emotional difficulty of this choice and can guide you through the process compassionately. Always remember, surrender is a responsible option that ensures your pet’s well-being.

Adopt Palmer

Palmer’s case is a poignant reminder of the many innocent pets caught in the crossfire of human crises. He remains a loyal, cuddly dog who loves everyone he meets and is in excellent health, neutered, up to date on vaccines, and microchipped. For those interested in adopting Palmer or learning more about how to support pets in similar situations, please visit


In these trying times, the compassion and action of communities can make a significant difference in the lives of pets like Palmer, who through no fault of their own, find themselves in need of a new beginning.

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