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Knowing that she, her husband, Adilson, and her teenage daughter,
She made a dozen calls. Two dozen. Five dozen. Every answer was the same: You've got a dog? Sorry, no dogs allowed. The few landlords and complexes she found that would allow dogs also had size or weight restrictions. Others were tentatively willing until they found out that the dog in question, no matter how sweet-tempered Cardoso promised her to be, was a 110-pound Rottweiler named
"I couldn't believe how hard it was," Cardoso says. "I must have made 150 calls. I really was almost homeless. I thought we were going to have to move in with my mom or send the dog to her."
Policy takes a toll
Moving and landlord issues are the top two reasons dogs are surrendered to animal shelters, meaning that housing difficulties are the single largest contributor to the more than 9 million pets euthanized by shelters annually, according to the
"I moved here from
After making well more than 100 inquiries, Blanch says, "I was getting really dismayed. Nobody was pet-friendly, and I even had somebody ask, 'Would you consider getting rid of your dog?' I was shocked and was like, 'You're kidding, right? That's my child.'"
Many landlords fear pet problems
A half-dozen landlords with apartments or houses available for rent, but not to dog owners, were contacted for this story. Most did not want to be quoted by name, fearing that being singled out as dog-unfriendly might make them subject to harassment. But all cited the same nexus of reasons: the possibility of damage inside and out at their rental properties, and the potential for conflict with other tenants in multifamily buildings, whether from barking, droppings or attacks.
"I have two very large dogs at home, and they're my world, but I will not allow pets at our rental properties," says
Hart advertises her properties on the local
She says, "I might consider (allowing a pet) with the right situation," such as a one-family home with longtime tenants, but never with multi-unit properties or new tenants.
"I could never ask somebody who had a dog to get rid of it if there was a problem," Hart says, "so I just don't get into that situation in the first place."
Cardoso, her husband, daughter and
Blanch's search for a dog-friendly home took two months, exacerbated by her requirement that her new place have a body of water nearby for Duncan, her swim-mad Lab. She finally found a brownstone in downtown
"It really felt like God was opening a door for me to find this place. I was so desperate," says Blanch, who plans to stay put: "It was such a headache the first time around, I'm not going to move again until I buy a house."
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