Let's talk about pets! In 2014 it was estimated that around 46% of households in the UK have pets and I can only assume this number has increased over the last 2 years. From Chinchillas to Chihuahuas we are a nation obsessed with pets.
Petting zoos, reptile experiences, amateur dog shows and animal fun days are all becoming a trademark of the Great British summer. And with animals being one of the most watched and shared phenomenon on social media, I think we can clearly see the importance of animals in our culture.
To many of us our furry companions are just as important to us as the members of our family, so why is there still such a stigma around keeping pets in certain residential buildings?
Many landlords don't allow pets when renting out their properties, I guess this is understandable as many domesticated animals can cause damage and create more hassle than necessary. However, I was extremely shocked to find out that even when buying a property (mainly apartments) you can still be told you are not allowed pets.
Obviously many people see these clauses in the lease and decide to ignore them. I would probably do the same, if my pet were small, well trained and made relatively little noise, why would anyone have a problem with what I do in my own home?
The problem is even if your animal is causing no trouble at all, someone will have an issue with it. People love to complain, especially bored people. Recently I received a letter stating that somebody in my block had a dog and that they had 6 weeks to remove the animal or further action would be taken.
I was shocked! But after asking around, I was surprised to find out how common this really is. - several of my friends have had similar experiences in their buildings.
The dog in question is an adorable, quiet little Westie belonging to the elderly gentleman below me. This dog does not bother anyone! Plus the gentleman lives on the ground floor, so the dog barely touches a communal area. Why would anyone report this? And how is it okay for him to be told he now has to get rid of his furry friend? This is a loved one remember.
Yes, I understand that it's against the rules, but he does own the property and the dog causes no harm to anyone. I can't help but feel this is a complete injustice. Howe someone has the right to complain about something that has no adverse effect on him or her at all seems strange to me.
If this was a guide dog it would have every right to stay, however pet-less people don't think about the emotional support an animal can offer. For many people their pet is the reason they get up in the morning, it's their lease of life.
So, I have decided to knock on a few doors and gather other people's opinions on this in my building, to see if I can round up some support for my neighbour and appeal for him to keep his beloved pet. I urge all reading this to do the same if you find yourself in a similar position.