This sample letter provides a starting point for advocating for pet-friendly housing in your community.
To the Editor / To the Property Manager
I’m writing to share my support for making pets welcome in housing developments and rental properties in [NAME OF COMMUNITY].
Pets make life better in countless ways, and over the last few years of the pandemic, their role in our families has become even more significant. In fact, a 2021 survey* found that 62% of pet parents said having pets with them is important to their mental health in the post-pandemic world.
There are also studies that show having a pet is tied to reduced blood pressure and lower risk of heart disease. Kids who grow up with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness and enhanced social skills. And, pet owners are significantly more likely to meet new people in their neighborhoods than non-pet owners. The list of benefits from pet ownership goes on and on.
Yet despite all of these benefits, because of “no pets” policies and restrictions on pet sizes and breeds, too many families have to choose being having a pet and having a place to live. No one should have to give up the benefits of a life with pets.
[IF YOU HAVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH HOUSING RESTRICTIONS, SHARE IT BRIEFLY HERE AND THE IMPACT IT HAD FOR YOU.]
There are many ways to make pet-friendly housing programs work, such as building in behavior and training guidelines. Tools like pet resumes and pet interviews can help housing owners feel confident in allowing pets.
Most important is remembering that, like people, pets are individuals. Training and temperament determine how well a pet will do in a particular living space, not arbitrary guidelines. By putting restrictions on pets, housing owners miss out on many tenants who could potentially be loyal and responsible residents for the long term.
Instead, we should hold pet owners accountable for their pets’ behavior. They’re the ones responsible for making sure their pets succeed. With their commitment and dedication, pets, pet owners and housing owners can all succeed in their goals.
[YOUR NAME, ADDRESS,
ANY OTHER INFO REQUIRED]
*KRC Research online survey of 1,003 U.S. pet parents from July 28 to August 8, 2021, sponsored by Mars Petcare.
Want more info? Check out our Pet-Friendly Housing Toolkit for best practices for cities, tools for rental property owners, and tips for pet parents who rent.