Moving With Pets

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It is increasingly difficult to find apartments that welcome pets. A shortage of housing makes it a landlord’s market. In San Francisco, a housing shortage resulted in a no-pets rule and it is happening in many places throughout the country.

Here are some steps to take if you are desperate to find a place that embraces your whole family, which includes the furry ones.

1. Take time

It takes time to find a pet-friendly apartment. Ask your veterinarian, the local animal control agencies, or real estate agents who love pets.

They may be able to furnish a list of pet-friendly buildings. Investigate all the possibilities so you know what to expect.

2. Understand why landlords do not want pets

There is legal liability if a dog bites, knocks someone over or becomes a neighborhood nuisance. Likewise, cats can do damage to property and like to kill birds and small creatures such as mice.

Damage to carpets from urine and feces result from untrained or neglected animals. It quickly produces an overwhelming stench. Some animals chew doors and claw holes into the walls. They dig holes outside and damage lawns and flower beds.

Barking and moaning dogs, screeching parrots, and yowling cats are disturbing to the neighbors. Most people want to enjoy peace and quiet in their homes.

3. Health concerns

Furry animals get fleas. A flea infestation is hard to clean up and takes vigilance. Some animal diseases can transmit to humans.

Strep and other diseases are often carried by dogs. The Bubonic plague was spread by fleas that lived on rats. Rabies flares up almost every year.

4. Prove that you are a responsible pet owner

When you decide to move, start gathering evidence. Obtain papers showing that your pet is spayed or neutered.

Fixed pets are easier to live with than others. Have an up-to-date shot record ready to show.  Ask your vet to write a letter that you are a responsible pet owner. Tell the prospective landlord that you will pay for any damages and that you will control your pooch or kitty at all times.

Offer a copy of any documents referring to obedience school or other training for your dog.

5. Set up a meeting

If the landlord wants to meet the pet, that is a hopeful sign. Make sure that your fur baby is clean, fed, and calm for the meeting.

6. Do not try to cheat the system

Some people find ways around the no pets rule. They sneak them in and hope the landlord and nosy neighbors do not find out.  It is hard to hide a pet, and it’s not fair to the pet, either.

Even a housebound cat or small dog may escape or the neighbors complain when they hear it making noise. Also, they will never believe that your baby giraffe is a dog.

Others abuse the handicap laws by claiming their animals are assistance animals when they are only pets. This makes life harder for people genuinely in need of animals that help them live easier.

When you take time to do your homework, prove you are a responsible person, and are willing to work with the landlord, you increase your chances of finding a home that you and your pets can truly love.

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