Second Chance: Homes for Families With Pets, Part 3

Second Chance: Homes for Families With Pets, Part 3

This is third in a short series by Second Chance about eliminating barriers for families with pets to find housing in our region.

This week, Second Chance has put together some resources and information for housing owners to find solutions and confidence when renting to pet owning families. The goal of this series is to reduce housing-related relinquishments to shelters and increase adoptions (by creating more homes for families who want pets).



Please refer to the first article in this series (available here), to review these relevant points in detail: a) pet-owning residents do not cause more damage or financial concerns than residents without pets and; b) size and breed are not indicative of increased risks of damage or safety issues.

Given the points above, the best approach for property owners is to set clear and enforceable standards of care rather than excluding families with pets or setting very low limitations to size and quantity of pets allowed. By establishing clear and reasonable limitations pet policies can be an asset to your housing community and allow property owners sufficient confidence in renting to pet owners.

Below are some areas for consideration:

  • Employ careful screening with structured questions to directly identify responsible pet owners.
  • Put an agreement in writing that clearly defines pet rules and procedures that help avoid future misunderstandings.
  • Charge reasonable pet deposits.
  • 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.
  • Set parameters such as when/where pets need to be confined, leashed, quiet, etc.
  • Ensure cleanliness – responsible pet owners will agree to immediately pick up and dispose of dog waste, bag kitty litter before placing in garbage containers, etc.
  • 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.
  • Put disciplinary procedures in writing and enforce them fairly.
  • Request references that demonstrate responsibility as a pet owner and tenant.

The reality is that most responsible pet owners are also very responsible tenants and are willing to demonstrate that fact. Some property owners have had negative experiences with pet owners, but often the tenants were the root of the problem, not the pets. Our region is predominantly animal-loving, but 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.

My name is Pericles, sibling of Hercules, who has already been adopted. As a young, friendly, socialized and bright adoptable Husky/Catahoula (Huskahoula), I encourage all property owners to consider giving pet owners a chance as tenants. I believe that it would be easier for me to find a new home if there were more housing opportunities for families with pets. Consider making a difference in the lives of homeless pets in this region. Please help us all get homes for the Holidays!

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

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