We are all aware of the benefits that pets provide to us – for our general wellbeing, reducing loneliness, providing emotional support and well, just to have ‘someone’ there to hug on a bad day. Unfortunately, while there are some 25 million pets in Australia, many landlords have a ‘no pet’ clause in their rental agreements too often resulting in the forced surrender of pets.
EACH Housing understands the importance of pet ownership, including for women and children who have fled a domestic violence situation and wish to bring their pet with them. Pets help to make a house a home and as such we are supportive of our tenants having pets, provided there is appropriate care for the pets and that the premises are maintained accordingly. Approximately 30% of our tenants have pets, ranging from cats, dogs, birds and fish, to chickens, frogs and lizards. On tenant sign up, our Tenancy Officer, Amy Dempsey, gives a big welcome to the tenants and all of their loved ones.
At one small block of flats we own, our tenant Brenda has Ginger Ninja – or is it that Ginger Ninja has Brenda and all of the other tenants? Ginger Ninja makes herself at home with all of the tenants and is particularly friendly to those tenants who spend time in our respite studio as a rest from carer responsibilities. Feedback from their stay often includes wonderful words for ‘the cat’ who is so lovely, always came to visit me, made me feel not so lonely.