Are Landlords Killing our Companions?

Media Release
Friday 10 June 2016

More than every second household in Australia includes one or more companion animal, including dogs, cats, rabbits or guinea pigs. Living with companion animals is good for our physical and mental health. They are generally much loved family members and a great source of support, especially for children and older adults.

“But we also have obligations towards these animals” said Bruce Poon, the Animal Justice Party’s lead Senate candidate in Victoria.
 
Nearly one in three households live in rental accommodation. While the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 makes no comment on companion animals, many leases have a ‘no pets’ clause. This makes it very difficult for people with companion animals to find suitable rental accommodation.
 
“Victorian renters were forced to give up more than 700 companion animals to the RSPCA in the last financial year due to disapproving landlords. This represents one in five or 20% of all animals surrendered to the RSPCA”.
 
“Not all surrendered animals can be rehomed. Many are euthanised. While we don’t know exactly how many animals die because of disapproving landlords, overall more than 250,000 mostly healthy dogs and cats are put to death each year in Australian pounds and shelters.”
 
“Victoria’s tenancy laws are failing to protect our companion animals. With renting on the rise, the current legislation is out-dated and does not meet the need of renters and their companion animals.”
 
“Victoria is currently reviewing its Residential Tenancies Act 1997. The Animal Justice Party is calling for changes to Victoria’s tenancy laws to ensure tenants are not discriminated against for having companion animals in their care where the property is appropriate for the animals involved.”
 
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Contacts for comment:
AJP Victorian Senate Candidate Bruce Poon: phone 0400 248 226; Email: bruce.poon@ajpvic.org.au

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