Pets are loving the pandemic. Having their pet humans at home all the time is a lifestyle they are enjoying, and it’s a symbiotic plus for all earthlings concerned – but, not all pets or humans have it so good.
President Pets For Life Animal Shelter Billinudgel Jean Conway, says that one of the most heartless requirements by accommodation providers in this country forces people to abandon their pets. ‘Grown men, women and children often weep as they surrender their dog or cat to the pound or animal shelter.
‘Seniors needing to move into care facilities are cruelly deprived of their long-term companions. Young people too, seeking rental accommodation, are told to get rid of their dog or cat. It can be a soul-destroying decision with resultant grief, anger, depression & sometimes causing illness like a stroke or heart attack.’
Ms Conway says a turn around of this antiquated and cruel edict would save a great deal of money for the Government’s health budget. ‘One study found that Australian ownership of cats and dogs saved approximately $3.86 billion in medical expenditure over one year.
‘Pets lift our spirits and help us relax. Our cardiovascular health can increase, our blood pressure lowered. We can enjoy more physical and social activity. Youngsters growing up with a pet may strengthen their immune system and reduce the risk of allergies.
Ms Conway says that research reveals that a child who owns a pet receives psychological benefits. ‘Pets provided a distraction (if needed), facilitated daily routine and exercise and offered unconditional love.
‘A study of school children showed that those with a pet are more gregarious and empathetic and often have higher self-esteem. Teenagers with a pet companion have a more positive outlook on life and report less loneliness, restlessness, despair and boredom. Pet owners report less depression and appear to cope with grief, stress and loss better than non-pet owners.
Ms Conway says that pets can be extraordinary caregivers. ‘Intuitively they know if we’re sick or feeling down and offer company. We can seem safe while home alone and they keep an eye on the house when we’re out. Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC) scientists say that the health benefits of a companion dog are most significant for those who live alone.
In family violence situations, beloved pets that are part of a household can also be vulnerable to maltreatment by the perpetrator. Abuse of the family pet can have a profoundly traumatic effect, especially on children. ‘Pet ownership could be an issue when a person wants to leave the family space because of abuse – finding alternative accommodation may prove difficult.
In most of Europe, dogs and cats live in rented apartments with their human companions. Parisian dogs accompany their humans to restaurants. Many hotels in Europe allow animals to stay. No one is made toxic or ill by this contact with companion animals.
In Victoria new laws on pets and renting came into effect on 2 March 2020. Tenants must now request their landlord’s consent to bring a new pet into the property and landlords must not unreasonably refuse. A landlord can only refuse a pet request if the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) orders that it is reasonable to do so.
A property owner not prejudiced against animals would welcome seeing council registration, vaccination, microchip and desexing certificates. The prospective tenant would present as a law-abiding and responsible person worthy of tenancy consideration.
It’s something to think about.
If you’d like to adopt a cat, you can see the fur family Jean is currently trying to find homes for at: https://www.petsforlifeanimalshelter.net/