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Aussie pet owners push for rental change, 1 in 5 forced to give up pets

By Tim Neary
14 June 2018 | 9 minute read
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New research from leading Australian pet care brand Rufus & Coco has found that an alarming number of renters have experienced heartache from not being able to keep their animals when negotiating new living arrangements.

As many as 22 per cent of pet owners have given away a pet or left them with a family member due to being unable to find pet-friendly accommodation.

Rufus & Coco said that each year in Australia, 20,000 cats and dogs are euthanised simply because their owners’ rental or strata agreement says they aren’t welcome. 

Rufus & Coco’s survey of 652 Australians (615 pet owners) also found that 79 per cent found it stressful securing pet-friendly accommodation and that 73 per cent experienced rental or strata accommodation where pets weren’t allowed.

Another 42 per cent had chosen not to have a pet because of concerns in accessing pet-friendly accommodation.

Rufus & Coco founder and CEO Anneke van den Broek said that the brand has partnered with pet advocacy group the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation to bring unnecessary pet euthanasia to zero.

“We’re passionately campaigning for change so that no Australian feels forced to choose between keeping their pet and keeping a roof over their head,” the founder said. 

Campaign efforts include lobbying state governments to change rental laws and providing resources for pet owners to make their case to property managers and landlords.

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Rufus & Coco has also released a new I Give A Wag toy range, donating a percentage of sales to the APWF.

One survey respondent said that she had lost sleep over feeling guilty about having to re-home “part of my family”.

“I still feel guilt and sadness, and I miss him every day,” the respondent said.

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