BC SPCA campaign promotes pet friendly housing


Calls on the provincial government are growing to ban ``no pets'' clauses from rental contracts.

Vancouver city council unanimously passed a motion last week calling on the provincial government for action and now the BC SPCA is getting behind it and has launched their own campaign.

The campaign notes challenges that physical distancing rules have posed, particularly for ``seniors, under-housed individuals, and those who live alone.''

Kelowna Branch Manager Sean Hogan points to studies that suggest having pets improves physical and mental health which is more important now than ever.

“Understanding your animal, your pet, what their needs are, that's on any pet owner to do that and if they're not doing those things they're missing out. They're missing out, perhaps, on the depth and breadth of a great relationship with their pet. More importantly to this matter, they're missing out on the ability to make a good case for them being a good tenant and their pets not being an issue,” said Hogan.

He added that penalizing other tenants for the ‘bad few’ is not a fair argument for landlords to rule pets out altogether but that responsibility partially extends to the BC government.

“I think it's incredibly important that all of us who are putting our names forward to rent a home or purchase a home with a strata, we owe it to walk with integrity. We owe it to be honest. We owe it to the animals. If we have them in our lives we should be protecting them too and the landlords and tenancy act themselves need to maybe have a look how they've limited and favoured landlords as opposed to tenants.”

There are many positives to owning pets and renting to people who have them, said Hogan.

“By encouraging pet friendly housing, they're also encouraging neighbours to have more of a social and community interaction in their property. This has also been shown to be good for safety; it's been shown to improve the general retention of tenants and so one in the property because they enjoy it more. They feel like they're part of a community.”

Hogan encourages pet owners to do their due-diligence and make sure their respecting where they live.

To join the campaign and take the Pet-Friendly Pledge, go to bcspca.ca.