Tenants are struggling to find accommodation that allows pets, and some are having to give them up in order to find somewhere to live, according to one of Guernsey's animal shelters.
A new initiative has been set up by a local pet owner hopes to aid those who have faced this struggle, by encouraging landlords to make changes to their lease agreements that would protect their properties from potential damage.
The Pancake Project, started by Bea Smith, has suggested on its website that landlords could require pet-owning tenants to 'pet-proof' the property with skirting, baby gates or appropriate flooring protection, rather than refuse to accept the animal.
Ms Smith has highlighted the importance of emotional support animals, which are distinct from service animals such as guide dogs. Her rabbit Pancake, for whom the project is named, helps her deal with mental health issues. The use of trained therapy animals to help people cope with trauma and depression has gained in popularity in recent years.
Ms Smith hopes to show landlords the importance of this side of pet ownership, in the hopes that those who refuse any kind of pet will reconsider. The Pancake Project also hopes to promote good quality of life for pets, and encourages prospective pet owners to rescue animals from a shelter instead of purchasing from a pet store.
Pictured: pets can often provide valuable emotional support for their owners, and landlords' refusal to accept pets can present a difficult challenge.
The GSPCA is aware of the issues pet owners can often face when searching for a home. GSPCA Manager Steve Byrne says the society is willing to assist landlords who are unsure of how to accommodate pets.
“There is rarely a week that goes by when we aren’t made aware of the challenges pet owners find in looking for accommodation,” said Mr Byrne.
“Every year we have a variety of pets given up into our care as owners cannot find accommodation,”
“There are ways and means landlords could easily make adjustments in their tenancy agreement to allow pets and this could even help benefit the owner of the property,”
Pictured: The GSPCA takes in many animals because their owners cannot find accommodation that will allow them.
“It always saddens the team at the GSPCA when we speak to those keen to help give an animal a loving home but are unable to do so due to their tenancy agreement.”
Pancake the rabbit can be found on Instagram @thepancakepr0ject, and more information about The Pancake Project can be found at thepancakeproject.info
Pictured top: A Guernsey resident has started an initiative to make it easier for islanders with pets to find rental homes willing to accept them.
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