Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | October 15, 2008

Pets & Property Owners Cont.

Foxy Author

Foxy Author

Several weeks ago a Second Chance Humane Society shelter dog named Lucky wrote a column (and then got lucky and got adopted…) on the diminishing numbers of rental properties that allow for pets.  The point was made that the situation could be remedied if certain standards for pet owners and property owners alike were employed and respected. 

Prospective tenants were provided with guidelines to follow to impress upon potential landlords their knowledge and practice of responsible pet ownership. 

In this week’s column I (my name is Foxy) present the following guidelines for property owners to help them establish successful pet policies that generate confidence when renting to pet owners:

  1. Employ careful screening with structured questions to directly identify responsible pet owners.
  2. Put an agreement in writing that clearly defines pet rules and procedures that help avoid future misunderstandings.
  3. Charge reasonable pet deposits (pet deposits typically average about $150).
  4. Establish limits to acceptable species, common pets like dogs, cats, rodents, fish, and birds, as well as acceptable numbers of each to maintain pet populations at manageable levels.
  5. Set parameters such as when/where pets need to be confined, leashed, quiet, etc.
  6. Ensure cleanliness – responsible pet owners will agree to immediately pick up and dispose of dog feces, bag kitty litter before placing in garbage containers, etc.
  7. Require spaying and neutering – spayed and neutered pets are generally healthier, better behaved, and more suited to apartment living than their unaltered counterparts and it indicates a responsible pet owner.
  8. Put disciplinary procedures in writing and enforce them fairly.
  9. Request references that demonstrate responsibility as a pet owner and tenant.

Being a property owner is challenging yet most responsible pet owners are also very responsible tenants and are willing to demonstrate this.  Some property owners have had negative experiences with pet owners but often times the tenants were the root of the problem and not the pets.  The Ouray and San Miguel County area is predominantly an animal loving population and as it is becoming more difficult for this population to find housing property owners may be limiting themselves to a smaller pool of tenants who may not necessarily be better qualified.

As a young adoptable Fox Terrier mix, I encourage all property owners to consider giving a pet owner and pet a chance as tenants.  I believe that it would be easier for me to find a forever family if there were more opportunities for homes for families with pets.  Please consider making a difference in the lives of homeless pets in this region.

Wags, Foxy

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet or learn about SCHS Spay/Neuter Vouchers, Volunteer & Foster Care and other Programs.  Visit to see our adoptable pets.  Responses to Pet Columns can be sent to


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