British Columbia's lack of pet-friendly housing is tearing families apart

There is a shortage of pet-friendly housing in British Columbia, and it's causing a crisis. Each year, one in every four pets surrendered to the BC SPCA are given up by their guardians due to a lack of available pet-friendly housing. That means somewhere in the province an animal loses their home roughly every seven hours.

Finding safe, affordable housing that fits one's needs is stressful enough. Imagine, on top of all that, being forced to surrender your beloved companion animal — your family member — because you cannot find a home that will accept them.

Pet owners are often forced to use up more of their monthly budget on housing, since lack of availability makes pet-friendly real estate much more competitive. Owning a pet is an investment, but should not bankrupt a family. Pet ownership should also not be limited to only high-income families since pets offer such important emotional and physical support, either informally or as highly trained therapy and assistance animals.

According to a 2008 poll, an overwhelming majority of B.C. residents support one's right to keep companion animals — a whopping 80% of participants. The government has a responsibility to its people, and the people have spoken: the companion animals of B.C. deserve the right to safe, affordable housing where they can remain with their families for their entire lives!

Pet-friendly housing doesn't just benefit animals and their families. On average, pet owners are willing to pay a bit more and stay a bit longer when they find suitable housing. Pets are also an asset to neighbourhoods, providing security and opportunities for social interaction.

With the impending October 24 election, we have a chance for our voices to really be heard. Sign this petition if you want lawmakers to directly address the dire need for more pet-friendly housing in B.C.!
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