At the ARL, we sadly see people needing to surrender their pets because they had to move and could not find a place that will take their pets. Because we are dedicated to preventing animals from being homeless, we try to help make suggestions if we know of any places that take pets. But we can’t possibly cover all areas, so here are a few suggestions if you or someone you know are in the situation where you need to move with your pets:
1. The number one recommendation is to plan ahead. Most people know in advance if they will have to move. Start looking immediately for a place that will accept your pets. Don’t assume that any place will allow your pets, and even if they claim to take pets, check their restrictions. Some will restrict to only cats, small dogs and many will not allow some dog breeds.
2. Contact as many resources as possible: real estate agents, apartment community managers, area shelters and rescue groups, and even the newspapers (local papers are best). Most supermarkets have free rental guides.
3. The Internet is a wealth of information. Craigslist offers listing of rentals by city or town. Also, realtor.com allows you to search for rentals with the criteria that pets are allowed. There may be other web sites to find if you just do some searching.
4. Network with people! You would be surprised at how many people know a friend who is looking to rent their property. Just like job hunting, sometimes your best resource is through someone you know.
5. Consider renting a home instead of an apartment where you can speak directly to the owner or rental agent. You may stand a better chance of convincing them to take your pets.
6. Do a good sell job that you are a responsible pet owner by explaining that your pet is house/litter trained and well-behaved. But be sure that you really are! A well-trained pet is a must for renters. You stand the risk of being fined or even evicted if your dog barks too much or if the property is being destroyed.
7. Remember that you may need to pay a security deposit prior to renting to cover any damages your pets may incur, and also some places may require an extra monthly pet fee. Be sure to factor that into your budget. By all means, the last resort should be surrendering your pets. They are a lifetime commitment and need to be considered in all of your life plans.