Racing for a Rooooffff


There are four-legged victims of the real estate foreclosure crisis too. Animal shelters report that owner turn-ins have reached an all-time high as families lose their homes and are forced to move -- often to rentals that don't accept Fido and Fluffy.

But the pets who wind up at shelters are sometimes the luckier ones, says Realtor Sandy Zalagens, a Keller Williams agent based in Los Angeles who says she is sickened by all the dogs she finds tied up in backyards, just left behind often without so much as a bowl of food or water. "Realtors are on the front lines," she said, "The owners move out and we find them."

Zalagans is the force behind the Keller Williams team that is participating in the Race for the Rescues on Oct. 4 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. The 5K race organized by The Rescue Train hopes to raise as much money as possible.

Zalagans' office alone has set its target on raising $1 million. Zalagans has long been known as the dog-rescuing Realtor in Los Angeles. She offers a free rescue dog to each buyer of a home she sells (they must qualify for not only the mortgage, but for dog ownership as well -- often much tougher standards to meet). For those who can't take the dog, she sponsors it in the name of the buyer out of her sales commission until a home is found.

For details on the race, click here.