What if you had to move due to family circumstances, loss of a lease or because of a job opportunity, and you were concerned about where to find pet-friendly housing? I have a couple of friends currently in this situation and it seems to be a widespread issue. Research by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that moving was the most common reason for owners relinquishing dogs and third most common reason for cats.
The Humane Society of the United States has some tips for finding a place to rent with Fluffy or Fido, starting with allowing extra time to find a pet-friendly rental. Give yourself at least six weeks before your move date to get the ball rolling. Contact real estate agents and rental agencies for advice on where to look.
While you’re searching for new digs, start building your case that you are a responsible pet parent. The Humane Society suggests gathering a letter of reference from your current landlord, documentation that your dog has completed a training class and a letter from your veterinarian stating that you have been taking care of your pet along with documentation that your pet has been spayed or neutered and is vaccinated against rabies.
Once you find a place that you like, make a good impression with the landlord by emphasizing that your pet is housetrained or litter-box trained and that you keep up with flea-control on your dog or cat. If the landlord is unable to meet your pet in person, bring along a photo. Also, realize that you may need to pay an extra security deposit to cover any possible damages to the property. Before you sign the lease, make sure it’s specified in writing that you have permission for your pets.
The Humane Society has a list of websites to search for pet-friendly rentals. And locally, here are websites that allow you to search for available rentals and whether cats and/or dogs are permitted:
- Craigslist (Can search rental listings and specify dog- or cat-friendly rentals.)
- My New Place
- People with Pets
- Yelp (Search for “pet-friendly housing” and the city.)
Pet of the Week
Meet Vegas, a goofy, lovable 8-month-old border collie mix. Vegas is very people-oriented and loves attention and affection. His favorite pastimes include getting belly rubs, going for walks and playing. He is currently being fostered with dogs of different sizes and gets along with all of them.
Because Vegas is still a puppy, he will require training to become a well-mannered gentleman, but he’s very smart and will learn quickly.
For more information on Vegas and other dogs available for adoption, visit the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) website.