Everyone knows that the housing crisis in Vancouver is literally the worst. Trying to find anything that is half decent enough to live in at a reasonable price is like trying to win the lottery. But finding a place to live is even more difficult if you own a pet. According to officials, people are actually abandoning their animals due to the housing crisis in Vancouver.
We want the best for our fur babies but in cities like Vancouver, the best feels impossible. With fewer and fewer affordable housing options, people are having to do insane things just to get by. One of those insane things is giving up their animals for the chance at finding a place to live.
Unless you own a home, finding a rental that allows pets is difficult. According to the Residential Tenancy Act, landlords have the ability to restrict pets entirely or set limits on the number, size, and type of pet allowed in the rental unit.
Due to this, one Vancouver rescue is noticing an increase in people giving up their pets to shelters. Plus, after a record year for animal hoarding, there are over 1,000 cats and kittens in need of homes in the province. The sad reality is that people are being pressured to abandon their animals far too often and officials are now speaking out.
Maria Soroski with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue recently spoke with News 1130 about the issue. According to Soroski, the rescue has seen an increase in abandoned kittens and cats in the last two years.
This year, in particular, the rescue has seen more than they ever have.
Soroski told News 1130 that the main reason owners are surrendering their animals is because they can't find affordable and pet-friendly housing.
In fact, it’s so bad that people who have adopted cats from the rescue in the past have actually ended up surrendering them as a result of not being able to find a place to live.
The large influx of abandoned cats adds to the number of overall animals that are needing to be rescued.
According to the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue's answering machine, they are at capacity with over 400 cats in their foster homes.
The issue surrounding affordable and pet-friendly housing in B.C. has been around for quite some time. According to the BC SPCA, over 1,500 animals a year are given to shelters due to housing-related reasons.
With 56% of households in Canada owning at least one pet, the BC SPCA has advocated to provide recommendations to the Rental Housing Task Force.
The only animals that landlords in B.C. must allow are guide dogs. Under the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act, the landlord must allow them and cannot require a pet damage deposit.
In other provinces like Alberta, it is up to the landlord to decide whether or not pets are allowed. In Ontario, on the other hand, landlords do not hold the same power.