Tazewell County VA Realtor Threatens to Force Dying Tenant’s Pets Out In the Snow

in dogs •  2 years ago  (edited)

Today I had contact with Ramona Simmons from Fortune Realty of Richlands, a business located in Tazewell County, Virginia. A tenant renting property owned or managed by Simmons (or perhaps Fortune Realty itself) is hospitalized with slim chance of recovery. The tenant has multiple dogs, including one senior poodle, and several cats. In typical Southwest Virginia fashion, Simmons declined to work with rescuers who are willing to take the dogs, stating at first that the Richlands Town Police Department (276-964-9134) was coming Monday to take them to the county pound. The Tazewell County Animal Shelter is a kill shelter. She would not put the dogs in her car to help get them to rescue because she was “afraid they would poop in it.”

Then she stated that she would just go to the property, open the door, and chase them all outside. Not only is this despicable, particularly since snow is several inches deep on the ground and temperatures are below freezing, but it’s also illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Remember, this is a business owner and property manager. Yet this is her behavior, and her answer to the problem of caring for pets whose owner is dying. Would you want to rent from this person? Or have her manage your property in your absence?

Here is the Fortune Realty Facebook page. I left a scathing review. Keep in mind, I was part of the conversation personally via speakerphone—this is not second-hand information. https://www.facebook.com/FortuneRealtyofRichlands/

Here is their website: http://fortunerealtyofrichlands.com/

Fortune Realty’s phone number is 276-964-6507
Their email is [email protected] . Email is free. Perhaps send them a message to let them know people around the world are aware of how Ramona Simmons is prepared to deal with a dying tenant’s pets.

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Wow, that is unconscionable. I can't believe someone would be that heartless. While I might be able to understand a fear of posisble legal complications (i.e. releasing the dogs to a third party without the express written consent of the owner), threatening to just let them run out of the apartment is despicable. The local humane society should step in and take custody of the animals until it is determined that she will not recover or otherwise gives permission to have the animals placed with a rescue group. There are actually legal technicalities that need to be worked through, which is understandable, but the property manager seems like a real heartless bitch. Perhaps the tenant's family members can step in and take charge. Otherwise, you may want to consult a lawyer.

I run a 501c3 rescue in this area and did offer to take the dogs. I needed help getting them to me, and Simmons refused, stating they might poop in her car. After that is when she made the statement about opening the door and turning them out.

There are definitely laws governing this type of situation. You can't just dispose of another person's pets. The family of a deceased person gets ten days to make a decision on whether or not they want the animals. After that, the jurisdiction holding them can go ahead and destroy them.

I can't believe in a modern day and age that people still think that this is ok, or that people wouldn't care. I could see it slipping by in rural Russia, but certainly modern society has progressed to the point where pets have value as pets, and also value as living creatures?

Good heads-up on your part to draw attention to this and try to gain ownership of the animals. At the least, I'm going to drop a casual email as a random third party to the email address you provided to at least inquire about the situation, and imply that they certainly better not be doing what I hear they're doing. Who knows, enough of those, and they they may realize they're not making a good decision here.

Thank you, @negativer. I really think that's what it will ultimately take to bring this community around on these issues--lots of sunlight shining on the problems, and social pressure. Nothing about any of this is acceptable. Yet so many people here in Central Appalachia don't even bat an eye at situations like this.

Thank you for fighting this fight - the animals of Virginia need your voice!

Home sweet home...

Isn't that the truth.

Well, at least the good news is that hopefully I will have the other three in my car and on the way to ARC tomorrow. lol I'm sure Rhonda will update everyone after.

Yes. You may end up bringing the poodle, too. She's small, though. She is almost bald.

Oh I thought someone else was taking her?

I might drop them a line on their web site link, just to let them know people are interested in this story.
Good luck Rhonda.


In case anyone else is interested in doing the same:
I'm keeping it civil, anger only entrenches the stupid.

Thank you, Joe. Yes. That would be good. My rescue should be getting the dogs tomorrow, as per the Richlands Police Department, who was very good about following up on this and working with me today. But yeah--this wasn't a good look for Fortune Realty, and I hope to send a message to them and everyone else in this region that the world has eyes on this place now. Stuff people got away with for the last several hundred years will not go over so well now. THANK YOU again.