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Abandoned pets are both exotic pets and companion animals that are either inadvertently or deliberately cast off by their owners. This commonly occurs when an owner dies, when a pet becomes disruptive or grows too large, or if the pet was an impulse buy, like rabbits bought for Easter without thinking of the care required for them. The financial crisis of 2007–2010 has resulted in a number of pets abandoned for economic reasons. Typical of this group are pets left behind when the owner's home is foreclosed. These animals can be left alone on the property or dropped off at an animal shelter. They are often discovered after the foreclosure process, when the realtor or bank enters the home. Animals lucky enough to survive until they are discovered are often in poor condition due to lack of resources such as food and water.

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