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Wanted: Dog-Friendly Rentals

I was wondering if the topic of apartment/rental living and dogs has ever been covered in Bark. The latest issue of the East Bay Express featured an article that relates to my situation as well as to other urban apartment dwellers I know around the San Francisco Bay Area.

When dog-loving people want to foster or adopt a dog, one of the big issues that comes up is housing. For the most part, building owners just don’t want pets in their units. An apartment search on Craigslist with the “dog” box checked quickly cuts the list down to a few availabilities, which are either in safe neighborhoods that are unaffordable or, if affordable, in areas in which it would be unsafe to walk the dog in the evening. After months of searching, I finally found an apartment that’s within a reasonably affordable price range and allows dogs. This has enabled me to adopt two dogs from a friend who is no longer able to care for them. We had spent months racking our brain for a way to provide them with temporary homes; we even offered to pay people to foster them. We kept getting the same answer: “Nope, my apartment doesn’t allow dogs.” We contacted the head of our small-breed rescue for help, and she said it was a very hard time to find people to foster for exactly this reason. A friend in San Francisco recently told me that she had wanted to rescue a Great Dane, but her landlord said, “No, the dog is too big.” And he said it as though my friend was somehow cruel for wanting to keep a large breed in an urban apartment

Rising rental rates don’t help the situation. If people can’t afford to buy or have faced foreclosure, they must rent. There is little to no incentive for building owners to allow pets. I wonder how many more dogs, especially large breeds (and cats), would be saved and rescued each year from urban shelters if building owners would just allow them.

—Esther
Oakland, Calif.

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