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Petition to end "no pets" rental restriction in BC reaches 10,000 signatures

Pets OK BC announced today that they have reached their goal of 10,000 signatures for their petition to change the no pets rental restrictions in B.C.

Pets OK BC is a movement advocating for the abolition of unreasonable pet restrictions in rental housing across the province of B.C.

“We think families with pets should have equal access to housing, equal opportunity, and not face discrimination when it comes to looking for a place to live,” says the organization’s Eliot Galan in an announcement on the Pets OK BC Facebook.

The organization’s petition aims to repeal and replace the Residential Tenancy Act, the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, and the Strata Property Act.

Doing so would allow tenants (and in some cases, owners) of all of these types of properties to keep pets in their homes.

According to the BC SPCA, 20% of owner-surrendered companion animals to the shelter is for housing-related reasons, which translates to 1,500 pets annually in B.C.

Pets OK BC has organized a rally for October 22nd on the lawns of the Legislative Assembly of B.C., Victoria to celebrate reaching 10,000 signatures on their petition.

"BC has a glaring lack of availability of pet-friendly housing, amidst historically low vacancy rates overall," reads the Pets OK BC website.

"Because “no pets” policies can be imposed with impunity in rental agreements and strata bylaws across the province, many families, senior citizens, persons living with disabilities, and other individuals are forced to part with their nonhuman companions with alarming regularity."

They plan to present the petition to the legislature to pass a motion that will “keep families together, alleviate overcrowding in shelters, and increase the availability of pet-friendly housing province-wide.”

The online petition was launched in 2015 and received more than 14,000 verified signatures from B.C. residents in a matter of months. The B.C. government does not accept electronic petitions, so the organization pushed forwards and launched a formal petition to the BC Legislature.

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