Australia CAN calls for national law to save pet victims of the rental crisis

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pet friendly rentals
Photo: Sarandy Westfall

Leading animal welfare charity Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN) is calling on the federal government to take a national approach to securing pet friendly rentals amid a historic housing crisis that is causing people to choose between their pet or a home.

“It’s already harder to rent due to the rental and housing crisis and even harder to rent with pets, causing people to have to choose between their much-loved companion animals and a home,” Australia CAN CEO Trish Ennis said.

“Our members are reporting far too many pet surrenders solely based on rental and housing issues across all age groups.

“They are also finding that people are reluctant to argue against their landlord or strata’s ‘no pets’ policy because they are unwilling to risk losing their home or are unaware of their rights.”

Australia CAN member Animal Welfare League SA reported a 1.8 per cent increase in pets surrendered due to rental issues in one year (7.5 per cent in FY20/21 to 9.3 per cent in FY21/22). 

According to member Animal Welfare League QLD, people needing to surrender their pet due to accommodation reasons has increased from 19 per cent to 27 per cent during the past two years. In May 2022 alone, 108 pets (79 dogs and 29 cats) were surrendered to Australia CAN’s member agencies across the country.  

“We need a national, strategic approach in imposing regulations preventing landlords from discriminating against people with pets and contributing to thousands of animals being surrendered to shelters,” Ennis said.

Australia CAN champions the benefits of the human-animal bond and promotes responsible pet ownership through national campaigns, partnerships and initiatives, including its Rent with Pets program which provides information, advice and resources to support tenants and landlords to be responsible pet owner tenants and welcoming landlords, and encourage pet friendly rental laws.

For a summary of rental laws in each state, visit Rent with Pets.

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