Pets OK BC argue that current legislation is discrimination.
BRITISH COLUMBIA – The BC SPCA has recorded an alarming 1774 pets surrendered in B.C. in 2016, due to lack of affordable, pet-friendly housing. A new advocacy group, Pets OK BC is trying to change all this with their new petition asking the provincial government to make “no pets” clauses invalid in the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA).
A spokesperson for Pets OK BC says that this legislation is long overdue, “Just about anyone with a pet and who rents will tell you that it is extremely difficult to find affordable, pet-friendly housing. For many people, giving up their pet is like giving up a family member, it is just not an option.”
Landlords commonly cite property damage as a reason to keep the current restrictions in place. In response, Pets OK BC states that research shows tenants with pets incur no more significant damage than tenants without pets. Evidence also shows tenants with pets are actually preferable for a number of reasons, including staying 2.5 times longer in rental units. For the rare cases in which damage from tenants (with or without pets) exceeds damage deposits, the RTA already has strong legal protections for landlords.
“What we have is systemic discrimination against renters with pets in B.C., while in Ontario they have had pet-friendly policy for over 20 years. It is time for B.C.’s policy to catch up in the interest of keeping families together and easing the tremendous burden on animal shelters. No animal should have to be left behind.”
A 2008 poll showed that 80% of British Columbians support changes to the current legislation that would allow tenants to keep their pets.
For more information visit the group’s website: petsok.ca and facebook page: Pets OK BC.
The petition is available to sign at the following locations in Victoria:
Bosleys on Burnside Ave.
Bosleys on Yates St.
Bosleys on Shelbourne St.
A Pets Life on Foul Bay Rd.
Pet Planet in Westside Village
Paws On Cook on Cook St.
The Dog and Dish Pet Food in Fairfield Plaza
Godfrey’s Luggage on Douglas St.
A petition signing event is taking place in Vancouver today, details can be found on the Pets OK BC event page here.
You are also welcome to print off the petition, collect signatures and mail it back to them. Complete details are on their website.
Victoria Animal News