Concerns about finding a rental property putting off adopting a pet

I’m a primary school teacher and have had pets my whole life so I find it hard not to have one. My dog of 10 years passed away three years ago and it was only this year that I felt ready to find a new one.
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When I moved to Karratha, I started fostering pets because I wanted to see if I was ready to adopt. Now, due to hearing other stories of people trying to rent with pets in WA, I’m worried that adopting my own pet will make it harder to rent when I eventually return to Perth.

I started volunteering for SAFE WA in January 2021 as a temporary or longer-term foster carer of cats and dogs. I feed them, tend to medical issues and toileting, and report any progress or issues to SAFE for their attention. But most importantly I love them and provide all the cuddles so they feel safe and secure with me.

Through working with SAFE, I have heard stories of pets being relinquished due to a lack of rental opportunities. The last time I had a pet, it was tricky to find a rental in the areas I wanted and for a good price that was also pet friendly. Now, I’m hearing it is becoming incredibly challenging to find a rental as it is and then adding pet friendly into your search criteria limits your options.

I understand it to be such a problem now that it’s putting me off owning a pet. I have loved many pets in my lifetime; if I have to give any of them up, I would just not cope. Pets are for life. I would feel terrible putting them in a situation where their comforts and bonds with family are not available to them.

One of the concerns about renting with pets is the potential damage a pet could do to a property. I believe with adequate pet bond and regular inspections, there’s nothing that can’t be addressed. I’ve owned pets my whole life and they haven’t damaged any house I’ve lived in.

In our current world crisis, people need as much help to maintain mental health as possible, and animals can do that. I also feel like by limiting pet friendly options, we are putting too much pressure on rescue centres and council facilities. We are blessed to live in a time of choice and human rights being at the forefront of decision making. Owning a pet shouldn’t be something anyone is denied of.

Cara, WA
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