The no pet policy has finally been removed in Vancouver’s rental housing

Thanks to an unanimously approved motion, the policy which forced some owners to put their pets up for adoption is finally gone

Pets of The Runner’s staff members. (submitted)

Earlier this month, Vancouver councillors Pete Fry and Jean Swanson put forward a motion to prohibit rental contract clauses which ban renters from keeping pets. On Oct. 15, the motion was approved. Now tenants with furry friends can sit back and relax as they caress their companion.

Prohibiting these “no pet” policies can reduce pet abandonment, open more affordable rental options, and improve people’s mental health during COVID times.

The sad truth is that some owners have no choice but to leave their pets behind if they plan to rent somewhere where there is a no pet policy. I cannot imagine the heartbreak the owners and pets experience through these separations.

As a pet owner myself, I have become extremely attached to my pug Booboo. I must admit, I spoil him quite a bit. I just can’t resist his cuteness. Booboo is like a fluffy little chubby potato full of fur who is constantly needing attention. I tend to buy him his favourite salmon treats, along with new beds, wrinkle creams, different types of leashes, and new outfits.

A news release by the BC SPCA reveals that “approximately 25 per cent of all animals surrendered to BC SPCA facilities are given up because their guardians can’t find housing that will allow their pet.”

In 2017, the organization experienced the highest number of surrendered pets due to the owner’s difficulty in finding pet-friendly housing.

“1,704 animals – on average, about five pets per day – were surrendered into BC SPCA care by people who said housing issues forced them to give up their pet,” another BC SPCA news release states.

Hopefully, with the removal of the no pet policy, owners will stay with their companions and enjoy their licks and kisses. And, if you have a cat, I guess you can enjoy their purrs? I have never had a cat, but if I did, it would probably be a sphynx cat because I could make them outfits, so they don’t look naked.

In a Pet Finder study on pet-friendly housing, “most pet-friendly housing was found to charge a separate pet deposit. The average pet deposit was between 40% and 85% of the rent.”

The study also used the data from tenants who revealed that “housing that was pet-friendly charged $222 more on average than housing that was not pet-friendly.” In addition, they found that 20 per cent of tenants surveyed said that they are keeping pets illegally.

We cannot confirm that rent prices will decrease, but we could confirm that people don’t have to hide their dogs whenever the landlord/lady arrives to collect their monthly cheques. Just imagine opening the door to greet your landlord/lady, and your pets run out the front door causing them to notice and possibly kick you out. Unless you have a hidden fish in your closet, then you’ll be fine.

It is no secret that pets help people deal with mental health issues. For example, Booboo helps me whenever l feel overwhelmed with school or work. If I just hug him and kiss him on his wrinkly forehead, I feel 10 times better.

During COVID-19, pets have proven to have an essential role in the department of supporting their owners’ mental health.

A Science Daily report surveyed 6,000 participants from the U.K. and 90 per cent of those participants “said their pet helped them cope emotionally with the lockdown and 96 per cent said their pet helped keep them fit and active.”

It is no secret that pets are the most beautiful gift that this world has ever given us unless you believe otherwise, which is totally fine. But I am glad the no pet policy is out, and love, licks and purrs are in.