"No pet" policies forcing owners to surrender pet for housing

Strict "no pet" policies, coupled with Kelowna’s low vacancy, is forcing some pet owners to choose between a roof over their head and their pet.

Sean Hogan, Branch Manager of Kelowna's BC SPCA, says up to 3 animals a week are surrendered to the shelter due to housing issues.  

“What we’re faced with on the frontline on a very, very regular basis- weekly- is that we have someone coming to us with a heartbreaking story of where they have to give up their animal and they’re looking to us to help them with that.”

Hogan says often times the pet owner either can't find a place that allows pets or was recently evicted from a house that allowed pets.

“Their commitment to a lifelong agreement with their pet is being challenged by the very fact that they all need shelter- people and the animal- and that there just is not that available for them.”

He says animals being given up include dogs and cats, and even smaller animals like rats. Luckily for the pets, Hogan says the shelter is usually able to find a new home for them within weeks.

Pets OK BC, an advocacy group, has been lobbying the government to change laws that allow landlords and strata corporations to place what it calls “unreasonable” pet restrictions.