Last week I was pleased to be able to join Dogs Trust and Cat Protection at their Parliamentary drop-in event at Westminster. The two charities have come together to push for more pet-friendly housing in the private rented sector, and at this event in the House of Commons, they outlined the importance of improving legislation around this.
This has been spurred on by record enquiries to the Dogs Trust from people looking to rehome their dogs because of being unable to care for them properly as the cost of living continues to rise. They tell me that around one in ten of those owners calling Dogs Trust charity cite issues with housing as the reason for needing to rehome their dog. This includes people being forced to move or downsize as rental prices increase, but are unable to find suitable, affordable pet-friendly properties.
Cats Protection says that last year it took in around 1,300 cats – the equivalent of at least three cats each day – due to landlords not allowing them in their properties, making it the eighth most-cited reason as to why cats are given up to the charity.
Pets are like family, and this must be a heart-breaking decision for owners, and incredibly distressing for the pets, and I’m sure is not a problem isolated to dog and cat owners.
After years of campaigning, Cats Protection and Dogs Trust have both welcomed the proposed Renters’ (Reform) Bill. According to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, renters will be given the legal right to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. Landlords will also be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.
I was pleased to join Cats Protection and Dogs Trust to support the new Bill, which could have a hugely positive impact on the lives of people who rent their home. Pets play an important role in the lives of their owners and it’s only right that everyone should be able to benefit from the companionship they bring.
Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Madison Rogers said
For too long, renters have been denied the chance to own a pet cat simply because they rent rather than own their home. We hope these new proposals will finally give renters the chance to experience the comfort, joy and companionship that comes with owning a cat, along with the security of knowing they can feel settled in their rented home.
We were pleased to join up with our friends at Dogs Trust to highlight why these new proposals are so important to millions of people. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Government to ensure the proposals give more renters the chance to finally own a pet in way that is fair and affordable for all.
James Hickman, Head of Outreach Projects at Dogs Trust said
For years, we have helped pet owners find a home in the private rented sector, but sadly we still receive thousands of calls from desperate dog owners forced to hand them over because of issues with accommodation. We are thrilled to see such wide-spread backing for Dogs Trust and Cats Protection’s work advocating for a more pet-welcoming private rented sector and hope the new Bill will help keep pets and their owners together where they belong.