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Los Angeles Wants to Make a Lot More Apartments Take Pets

Los Angeles has the nation's highest percentage of renters, and that can have repercussions when it comes to pets. LA city animal shelters say that between 2011 and 2015 "at least" 22.6 percent of dogs and 18.6 percent of cats surrendered at shelters were given up because of pet restrictions on their apartment, KPCC reports. So now, the LA City Council is moving to try and make it easier for people to have pets in their rentals. The Council's unanimous vote last week means that city housing and animal services agencies will begin to reach out to both tenant and landlord groups to try and figure out how to make rentals more pet-friendly.

That landlord in North Hollywood who requires tenants to have a pet is not only a lovable eccentric, but also a total unicorn among property owners. KPCC says that a recent survey of 300 landlords who are members of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles found that 42 percent didn't allow any pets in their apartments. The initial motion for increased pet-friendliness filed last year, by Councilmember Paul Koretz, was even more damning, saying that "estimates are that more than half the housing stock consists of rental units that do not accept companion animals." (We've got a map of neighborhoods with the most pet-friendly rentals here.)

The rationale is that pets damage a rental: "Scratches on wooden floors, carpet that's been soiled by pet urine" were cited as examples by a rep for the landlord group. And that's definitely a consideration, but there's got to be a better way to preserve the integrity of apartments while still allowing people to have a dog or cat, especially when the consequences are that so many pets are given up to shelters.

The overall goal of the proposal is to stop euthanizing animals in Los Angeles; as it stands, a quarter of animals who come into LA shelters every year are put to sleep. "We want to see if we can get to the point where our shelter system is no-kill," says Councilmember Koretz. Among the ideas that might be explored by the groups are some that are already in play in other cities, like in West Hollywood, where senior citizens, the disabled, and people with HIV/AIDS can have "small companion animals" in their apartment.
· 'No kill' advocates urge more landlords to accept pets in their units [KPCC]
· Pets Strictly Required at North Hollywood Apartment Building [Curbed LA]