Many thousands of dogs and cats are euthanased each year because of the lack of pet-friendly accommodation.

The Facts

  • Lack of pet-friendly accommodation is the single most important factor leading to the relinquishment of dogs and cats to shelters and pounds in Australia. Annually this leads to the death of 30,000 to 40,000 dogs and cats.
  • Lack of a “Pets are Welcome” policy by landlords and body corporates also means there are fewer homes available to adopt rescue animals from shelters and pounds.
  • Approximately 33% of people in Australia rely on rental accommodation, but only about 10% of advertised rentals allow pets.
  • Lack of pet-friendly accommodation also sometimes results in human homelessness. People on a low income with few options may choose to live on the street or in their car, rather than surrender their pet.
  • Being forced to choose between a beloved pet and having a home has detrimental impacts on people’s physical health and emotional well-being. This contributes directly to the euthanasia of thousands of healthy, adoptable dogs and cats in shelters and pounds each year, and human homelessness.

Our Objectives

  • The Australian Pet Welfare Foundation’s (APWF) priorities are to support research to determine the economic and social benefits for landlords in Australia of a Pets are Welcome policy.
  • To provide pet-owners with the tools and information they need to be informed about their rights regarding pets in rental accommodation, and the most effective actions they can take to obtain rental accommodation.
  • To connect directly with real-estate agents and property managers, to ask them to join the growing network of properties that are PAW (Pets are Welcome).
  • To promote real-estate agents who have a Pets are Welcome policy using social media and other outlets to celebrate their progressive pet policies.

How this research will make a difference

  • Through no fault of their own, thousands of pets every year in Australia, are surrendered to shelters and pounds, because of a lack of “Pets are Welcome” policy by landlords, body corporates and real estate agencies. Tragically, approximately 50% of these cats and 20% of dogs cannot be found a home, and are euthanased.
  • A “Pets Are Welcome” policy inclusive of cats and dogs of all breeds and size would save tens of thousands of lives every year, by preventing surrenders and opening up new opportunities for adoptable animals.

The Investment

$115,000 will cover the costs for a community liaison officer, their supporting costs, and funds for research to determine the economic and social benefits for landlords of a Pets are Welcome policy.