Where’s the Pet-Friendly Housing?

One of my first introductions to the “animals are not as important as people” mentality that seems to prevail all around us was apartment hunting. I moved to California and had a miserable time trying to find pet-friendly housing. In fact, I never did find any when I first moved. I was so desperate that I ended up moving into an apartment that didn’t allow cats. I knew I was breaking the rules but I was out of time and needed a place. Naturally, a few months later I was told I either had to get rid of my cat or move out. I relinquished my security deposit, paid an additional $300 fine, and moved out.

I have had this challenge several times. Ironically, pet-friendly housing seems especially hard to find in cities that appear to be pet friendly. They have dog parks and lots of walking paths. I don’t get it!

I realize that there are a couple reasons for this. First, pets obviously can create a mess. But so can adults and children for that matter. Also, most apartments require a security deposit, which it seems to me should cover any cleaning costs.

Also, a lot of people have pet allergies. However, due to the shortage of pet-friendly apartments, it seems to me that pet owners flock to these buildings and in turn, they end up being mostly or completely occupied by pet owners. That is the case in my current apartment building. Of course, my other argument against this excuse is that we are discriminating against pets AND pet owners in favor of people with allergies. I am sorry but this reminds me of the smoking vs. non smoking debate. If you don’t smoke, you ask for a non-smoking room at a hotel. So why can’t people with allergies seek out the housing that is not pet-friendly, especially since there are so many more available to them?

Besides, there is no guarantee that a pet has never set foot in a supposedly pet-free apartment. I found out after I moved out of my anti-cat apartment that the resident before me also owned a cat! And what if a pet comes to visit but doesn’t actually live there?  There really is no guarantee that an allergy won’t be triggered no matter what the rules are.


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