Home Sweet Home!

Not every home needs a pit bull, but every pit bull needs a home! Finding a home that accepts your pit bull can be a challenge. Unfortunately discrimination in the housing industry is the cause of many cats and dogs being rehomed or surrendered to shelters.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, if all rental-housing units permitted pets, approximately 6.5 million animals could be placed in homes. The HSUS Rent With Pets site provides resources online for pet owners as well as rental managers. You’ll find tips on locating housing, moving with your pet and convincing landlords you and your pet will be good tenants. Useful resources include a sample reference letter and sample Pet Resume.

The North Bay site offers equally valuable tips for motivating landlords to say “yes” to your dog or cat. The following advice is adapted from these resources:

  • Have your pet neutered or spayed, since altered companion animals typically behave better and don’t have heat cycles or spray.
  • Demonstrate that you are a responsible pet owner and a good tenant.
  • Bring up the subject of pets in person with the property owner rather than over the phone, if possible.
  • Personally presenting information about yourself and your pet may help convince the landlord to say yes.
  • Gather references from former landlords, neighbors, obedience instructors, and veterinarians. Include such documents as proof of spay/neuter, records of up-to-date vaccinations, indications of regular vet visits, and obedience school diplomas.
  • Write a pet resume. Highlight the qualities of your animal, such as: able to stay alone quietly, is housetrained and doesn’t chew or howl. Explain how you exercise your dog and how you’ve helped him learn to be calm…how you keep your pet clean and flea-free…and how the fact that your animal is spayed/neutered will benefit the landlord. Include an attractive picture of your pet at rest.
  • Encourage the landlord to meet your groomed, well-behaved pet in your current apartment or elsewhere.
  • Offer to sign a pet agreement and pay an additional pet deposit as necessary.
  • Remind landlords that responsible pet owners make responsible tenants.

After you move in:

  • Always clean up after your pet.
  • Give your animal enough exercise so that he or she is calm in the apartment when left alone at home.
  • Never let the dog or cat roam outside; keep your animal on leash.
  • Be a great representative for all pet-owning tenants.

Finding pet-friendly housing

National Apartment Locators