Landlords discriminate against pet owners

A letter to the editor by Bertha Hanscke.

To the editor:

Discrimination. That’s the way I feel.

Perhaps some people can say that it’s their choice to rent or not to rent to people with pets but I think it’s discriminatory. Because I have a dog, who’s my only and constant companion, I’m pretty much relegated to live on the street.

I can take my dog to a five-star hotel, where he is entirely welcome, but I’m not supposed to live with him. How stupid is that? He has been obedience trained since he was three months old, better than most adults or kids who have never been “obedience trained.” He is with me 24/7 – also better than most kids who are latch key kids. Completely unsupervised.

There used to be a time when you couldn’t rent accommodations if you had kids, or the number of kids was limited. If you had two, you were in luck. Three – sorry, out the door.

I remember one place we lived in Kamloops. Two blocks of townhouses and you were allowed to have only four kids. Friends of ours had five, and they wanted to move into one of the townhouses but knew that they wouldn’t be able to because they were over the limit. So we all got together and told them to tell the landlord that they only had four children. From then on, we just sort of moved her around. One day the landlord came over and started counting noses. He actually went door to door, asking who had the extra kid. Nobody said anything so he left.

I’ve nearly always owned my own homes, and we had visitors who had dogs. They would stay anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. There was never a problem. We could have said “sorry, you can come in but you’ll have to leave your dog in the car,” but we didn’t because their dogs were part of their family.

Now, because I chose to rent, my companion and I are considered second-class citizens.

We are living in a pickup, dog oriented city but we are going backwards. This is ranching country, where dogs are a part of the lifestyle, or at least they used to be before people moved up from the coast or wherever and brought their big city lifestyle with them.

Bertha Hanschke

103 Mile House

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