One of the biggest challenges pet owners face is finding accommodation that allows them to keep their animals. Oak Tree see many pets reluctantly given up for adoption when owners move into new rented accommodation where pets are not allowed.
This frequently causes distress for owners and their animals as they have to part. Oak Tree have been working with housing associations in our region to promote to landlords the benefit of pets in their properties.
Caroline Johnson, General Manager of Oak Tree said “The relationship between pets and their owners is so important for both the pet’s and owner’s well-being. We see many pets being reluctantly given up for adoption when owners have to move into new rented accommodation which does not allow pets. Landlords are often concerned about the damage a pet might do to the property and disturbances the neighbours might experience. However, a responsible owner with a well-trained pet are highly likely to cause no damage. Pets can significantly reduce social isolation and loneliness in tenants, with over one fifth of the UK population saying that they always or often feel lonely, pets can play a vital part in providing companionship and support for their owners.”
Caroline continued “We fully understand the concerns of landlords but would encourage them to consider a pet-friendly approach to support their tenants and reduce the strain on rescue centres in our region from the hundreds of animals given up every year due to tenancy agreements. To minimise risk to their properties landlords could take up pet references from previous landlords and vets to establish that the owner and pet are responsible, ask for pets to be neutered to reduce the risk of territorial marking and unwanted litters. Landlords could also ask for an increased deposit for reassurance while the pet is living in the property.”
When updating their Pet Policy, Loreburn Housing, based in Dumfries, contacted Oak Tree Animals’ Charity to help develop a pet-friendly policy that made sure that pets and their owners were supported and that animal welfare was a key consideration.
Lorraine Usher, Chief Executive of Loreburn, explained “Loreburn are delighted to be working with Oak Tree Animals’ Charity. As a housing provider we are very aware of the issues of isolation and loneliness. Pets can bring so many benefits which is why we are committed to a pet policy that focuses on animal welfare. Oak Tree Animals’ Charity has been so supportive as we’ve developed our policy and thinking. We’d encourage other housing providers to consider animal friendly policies as pets can bring so much happiness.”
For more information about pet-friendly housing policies, the Charity’s work and how you can help, please visit their website www.oaktreeeanimals.org.uk, call them on 01228 560082, follow them on social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They are open 7 days a week, 10.00am – 4.00pm.