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Pets abandoned ‘over renting rules’

Scores of people were forced to give up their dogs last year because their landlords banned pets, an animal charity says.

The number of people handing in pets to the Dogs Trust as a result of housing problems has risen by 56% in the past five years and last year 276 people handed their dogs to 17 rehoming centres.

The charity warned that as high property prices force more people into rented accommodation, many pet owners will be forced to abandon their animals or even have them put down.

One in three people surveyed could not find a suitable property to live in with their pet and the research found pet owners who were successful in finding a tenancy tended to take longer to find a home.

Almost half (47%) of those who looked for a property said their lettings agency did not help them to find a pet-friendly home.

The survey found that 59% of pet owners would be willing to pay a higher deposit to rent with their pets and 75% would be happy to pay for their carpets and soft furnishings to be professionally cleaned when they moved out.

Clare Kivlehan, who runs the charity’s Lets with Pets scheme, said: “We’re campaigning for lettings agents and landlords to take a ‘pets considered’ approach rather than rejecting all pets.

“We’d like people to be able to search easily on property websites for suitable options rather than having to make individual enquiries and we’re keen to hear from any agencies interested in becoming campaign supporters.”

The Dogs Trust surveyed 5,695 pet owners in the UK.

How to calm pets during storms

THE RSPCA is warning pets are more likely to run away during storms.

Stressed pets like a safe bed in a storm.

THE Gympie RSPCA is warning pets are more likely to run away during storms.

Manager Rebecca Brazier said after Saturday’s storm the shelter was inundated with pets.

She said dogs were prone to being stressed in storms and known to have broken through glass and fencing to escape during wild weather.

To keep pets calm and less likely to run away there are a number of things you can do.

One is to create a small, safe bed. Ms Brazier suggested doing it in the laundry and getting your pet used to it before storms hit.

She said it was also good to have someone calm and relaxed at home with your pet during a storm – pets were less likely to be stressed if humans were calm.

“Reward them for calm behaviour, put a child’s T-shirt on them or use rescue remedy,” she also suggested.

Calming music, massaging and keeping pets indoors with everything closed up so they can’t see lightning can also help.

In case your pet does escape put contact details on its collar and register it with the council.

Microchipping, however, was the best way to make sure you can be reunited with a lost pet.

Pets blessed in tribute to St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals

They say all dogs go to heaven — and on at least one day a year throughout metro Detroit, some dogs also go to church.

The feast of St. Francis of Assisi was Tuesday, and the weekend before and after are replete with Blessing of the Animals services. The traditionally Catholic and Anglican tribute to the patron saint of animals is becoming popular throughout Christianity, as pets are increasingly considered part of the family.

“More and more, Protestant churches are understanding that we have a role to care for all creation. It’s not a far stretch,” said Rev. Doug Ralston of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in St. Clair Shores.

Ralston blessed about 15 animals last weekend for both those in his congregation and those from the community.

Today about a dozen families lined up with dogs and cats at Good Hope Lutheran Church in Garden City, which held its first Blessing of the Animals under new pastor Joan Christoffers.

“As God has blessed you with these pets, so may they be blessed in your care,” she said to those who stood before her with animals in their arms or by their sides.

Each pet received a treat bag, a medallion, a certificate and lots of head rubs. Among the mix was Christoffers’ own dog, a 5-year-old cocker spaniel named Dinah.

Griffin Mincovsky, a 6-month-old yellow lab, could barely sit still around the other dogs at Good Hope. Bailey Taylor, a 7-year-old Shetland sheepdog, stood patiently next to a carrier that held Gwen Taylor, a 15-year-old cat.
Beth Taylor said that in addition to the opportunity for a blessing, she got to learn who in the congregation has pets.

“I didn’t know all these people had animals. It’s something to talk about at church tomorrow,” she said.

She believes, as Jon Mincovsky does, that their pets will end up in heaven.

“It’s hard to say that something that unconditionally loves you is not going to heaven,” said Mincovsky, as Griffin lifted a paw to “shake.”