Renting with pets – help change rental laws

Anyone who has tried renting with pets knows how incredibly hard it can be to find a landlord who is welcoming of your pets.

The very real and sad fact is that many dogs and cats end up being surrendered to the pound or animal shelters, re-homed with friends or family, or even worse, euthanised through no fault of their own.

That’s why it is so important that we do what we can to help making renting with pets easier and so that we can help keep pets in their loving homes.

Why renting with pets is so hard

Whilst Australia is home to 29 million pets and two thirds of households are home to a companion animal¹, less than 10% of rental properties are advertised as pet friendly² making it incredibly hard for many people to find a new home with their pets, contributing to thousands of animals being surrendered every year.

How you can support the rent for pets program

As Australia faces a rental crisis (even before the pandemic), the Companion Animal Network Australia’s (CANA) has launched a new ‘Rent with Pets’ program that aims to help change rental laws to allow more renters to experience the joy of the human-animal bond and prevent beloved pets from becoming homeless.

CANA is a registered charity representing the companion animal welfare work of member organisations across the country, some of whom I have interviewed on Pooches at Play and includes the Animal Welfare League QLD, Animal Welfare League SA, Lort Smith (VIC), Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs’ Homes of Tasmania and Saving Animals From Euthanasia Inc (WA).

The Rent with Pets program aims to increase awareness around the surrender of pets to shelters due to difficulty finding pet friendly rental properties, and how we can all help to stop this.

According to their National Executive, Trish Ennis, the aim of the program is to work toward better rental laws in each state to support responsible pet owners and create a national law similar to what Victoria brought in earlier in 2021.

How can you help make a difference?
  1. Visit Rentwithpets.com.au and learn how to work with each other to achieve the goal of no surrenders due to rental refusal.
  2. Sign their pledge and contact your local MP to encourage pet friendly rental laws in your state.
  3. If you’re a landlord or property manager, encourage responsible renting with pets by adding to advertisements ‘will consider pets with references’. (Here are some tips to write a stellar pet resume).
  4. Sign up to Companion Animal Network Tales e-newsletter to join our many supporters for pet friendly homes and be informed.
  5. Download Rent with Pets resources and share on social media with hashtag #forpetfriendlyhomes to help raise awareness!

This is a topic that is so important to me as I couldn’t imagine a life without my two adopted boys, and the thought of having to choose between finding somewhere to live, or giving them up, is just not something I could even consider.

Plus, having worked with many rescue groups, I have seen first hand how this impacts both the people and their pets, so please do what you can to support this campaign.

And, if you do have a rental property, please consider the fact that research has shown that tenants with pets tend to stay longer and that it’s not necessarily the pets that do the most damage to homes, if any.

So, if you have or have ever had a pet of your own, please consider how you would feel if you had to give them up just to keep a roof over your head.   A saying I my mum always told me, “but for the grace of god go I”…

Meanwhile, for pet owners struggling to get on top of some common dog behaviour problems before you move into a new home, don’t forget there are plenty of articles and videos to help in the training and behaviour section of this website.


1. https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/3537441/HILDA-Statistical-report-2020.pdf


About the Author: Lara Shannon is a certified dog behaviourist and trainer, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara runs her own dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area, is a sought after pet expert speaker and Author of Eat, Play, Love (Your Dog).

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