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January 10, 2018 12:30 am EST
Updated: January 10, 2018 4:10 pm EST

Amid housing crunch, B.C. group wants to stop landlords from banning pets

WATCH: Pet owners rally to change laws allowing renters to ban pets.

Should tenants have the right to have a pet in their unit?

One B.C. group thinks so, and is renewing its call to the province to change rules that let landlords ban pets from rental suites.

Pets OK BC said about five pets per day are surrendered to the BC SPCA because of housing issues.

LISTEN: Simi Sara talks to Eliot Galan with Pets OK BC
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Group co-founder Eliot Galan said attempts to have tenancy rules allowing a “no pet” policy amended went nowhere with the previous BC Liberal government, and that the BC NDP seems equally uninterested.

“The housing minister, Selina Robinson, has not yet met with us. She sent her assistants to meet with us, [and] they briefed her on the situation,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. group wants government to prohibit landlords from banning pets in rental units

“But it appears she’s really not taking this seriously.”

Amid Metro Vancouver’s housing crunch, the rules as they currently stand are forcing many people to make difficult decisions, Galan said.

“Some people put their pets on Craigslist, and there’s lots of people who ended up homeless because they were unwilling to give up their pets.”

WATCH: Pet owner demands changes to rental rules


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Galan argued that issues with landlords can be resolved and that tenants with pets are no more likely to cause damage than those without.

He said the issue is finding responsible people to live in a unit, a matter he said does not relate to

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver pet owner demands changes to rental rules

whether they have pets or not.

The SPCA said about 1,700 pets were turned in last year because of housing issues alone, about the same number as in 2016.

A statement from the Ministry of Housing blamed the previous Liberal government for the lack of rental supply, and said the current NDP government is focusing on increasing affordable housing in B.C.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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