Housing advocates say 5 BC families a day give up their pets to find a home

Image via Eliot Galan.

Finding a place to live in Vancouver is hard enough, if you have a pet in your family, the search is nearly impossible.

That was the sentiment from a rally held at Trout Lake’s dog park today put on by the advocacy group Pets OK BC who are speaking on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves.

Organizer Eliot Galan says pets aren’t any more of a concern for landlords than anything else from raucous parties or domestic disputes.

“Most tenants with pets are responsible, when you look on the whole, the average difference in damages caused by tenants with and without pets is a mere $54,” he explains. “That’s not really justification for denying all tenants with pets housing.”

Galan is urging people to sign their paw-tition at PetsOK.ca.

“This is about families,” he says. “1,700 families or more gave up companion animals last year due to housing reasons. That’s five families per-day who have to give up their pets. It’s a completely unjust situation.”

While pets in rental buildings hasn’t been a serious election issue, despite the City of Vancouver unsuccessfully lobbying the province to include pet-friendly housing, Galan says the most positive response came from the NDP.

“We haven’t had full endorsements, I think candidates are being cautious right now.” Galan says. “We have reached out to a lot of candidates from all parties. The BC Liberals have basically justified the current situation, ignoring the fact that women are far more affected by the no-pets policies, people are going homeless, seniors are forced to give up their companion animals when they move. We haven’t heard much from the Greens.”