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Pets Are Welcome™: Advocate's Guide

Making Your Community Pets Are Welcome™

Photo by Africa Studio/Shutterstock

The rental housing industry proclaims that 78 percent of apartment buildings accept pets, but according to a 2012 study, 29 percent of dogs and 21 percent of cats surrendered to shelters are there because their owners couldn’t find housing that would accept them. That’s roughly half a million pets surrendered directly because of housing issues. Why is that?

All too often, housing that’s described as “pet-friendly” is anything but. In fact, nearly all of the nation’s largest rental housing companies have breed and weight restrictions that effectively prohibit most of the nation’s pets. These restrictions are arbitrary, unnecessary, and can be eliminated. But we need your help!

Download our free Pets Are Welcome toolkit »

It’s time for us to stop believing "that's just how rental housing is; if you have a pet, particularly a large dog, be prepared to scramble to find housing." We need to work together to demand an end to “pet-friendly” rental housing and call for properties to truly welcome pets instead. Pets Are Welcome properties have no arbitrary restrictions on pet ownership; they welcome all dogs and cats regardless of their breed or size. This single change could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year, preventing surrenders and opening up new homes for adoptable animals.

The good news is that Pets Are Welcome is just as good for business as it is for pets! Whether it’s talking to your own landlord, writing an op-ed to your local newspaper, speaking with local politicians, contacting local media, or approaching property owners in your community, there is something you can do right now to make a difference. Our Advocate’s Guide to Pets Are Welcome: Expanding Options for Renters with Pets can show you how!

Together we will make this happen. Because no one should ever have to choose between their pet and their home.