As a writer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to grit my teeth and write something like “the dog was surrendered when his person’s new living situation wouldn’t allow animals.” It breaks my heart that someone should have to choose between having a place to live and keeping their furry family member.
Fortunately, I’m not the only one who feels this way. A new bill proposed in the UK would ensure that property renters no longer have to part with their best friends when moving. Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, who leads the charge said:
“Moving into a new home is a normal part of life, but what if every time you moved, you faced the threat of being separated from someone you loved? Can a house or flat ever really be a home, if you have been forced to abandon a family member just to be able to move in?”
The bill, he argues, is necessary just as a dog is an essential member of a family.
“Sadly, pet owners moving into rented accommodation face the reality that their family could be torn apart because most landlords have unnecessary bans on pet ownership.”
Rosindell himself has two Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Spike and Buster.
“I also know just how close the bonds between a dog and owner can be, and how devasting it is to lose them.”
About The Dogs And Domestic Animals Bill
The bill gets its name, “Jasmine’s Law,” from a Weimaraner that belonged to the Adams family from Surrey. The pup was not allowed to live in a rented house with them.
Officially, the bill goes by “The Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accommodation and Protection) Bill.”
“The no-pet clause means someone cannot have a dog over for even a short period for fear of recriminations or losing their home. Such discrimination must now end.”
You can read or listen to Rosindell’s speech about the bill here.
Support And Criticisms Of The Bill
In general, animal welfare groups and charities support the measure. According to Clare Kivlehan of Dogs Trust, this important issue deserves addressing.
“One of the main reasons for dogs handed to us is problems finding accommodation that will accept pets.”
Primarily, property owners worry that allowing all kinds of animals in rented spaces will cause costly damage. Landlord Fred Cowler said:
“If it does become law, I’d want guarantees that damage and extra costs would and could be covered by the tenant.”
However, Rosindell explained to landlords the bill won’t necessarily mean that tenants have an ‘unconditional right’ to have pets in their properties. Evidently, anyone who wishes to have a domestic animal must first pass a responsible ownership test. That includes a checklist that must be fulfilled; things like vaccinations, microchipping, and responding to basic commands.
Rosindell told the National Residential Landlords Association:
“The bill will include measures to ensure that pets are suitable for the type of accommodation.”
A second reading will take place on January 29th, but so far there’s cross-party support for the bill. If it passes, the U.K. follows the example of Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland.
H/T: LAD Bible