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For many people, domestic animals, big or small, furred, finned, feathered, or other, are more than property, more than a layer of security or pest control, more even than pets. For many, they are essential members of the family who participate fully in daily life and activities.

In addition to companionship, pets can significantly impact physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Whether trained as service animals or not, pets have been proven to prolong independent living, mental acuity, and even life.

We recognize that having an animal in your life is not for everyone; however, for those who choose or yearn to share their life with a pet – few things are more important.

That’s why the People’s Alliance made animal protection and welfare a part of our 2020 election platform, and it’s why we want to encourage more landlords to consider allowing pets into their rental units while feeling comfortable and protected doing so.

Finding affordable housing is challenging enough. Finding affordable housing that includes pets is far more so. Often, individuals and families are forced to choose between housing and an animal they consider part of their family, sometimes with long-lasting negative impacts.

Landlords are rightly concerned with protecting their property and other tenants on their properties. At the same time, the rental landscape in NB is rapidly changing as our population grows and diversifies. Homeownership is not always today’s first choice or option. More and more people are long-term, even life-long renters, yet want pets to be a part of their life and family.

We at People’s Alliance encourage amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act that would allow a landlord to request a “pet damage deposit” in addition to a standard damage deposit, refundable upon termination of the rental agreement under standard conditions. Most major insurance companies also offer liability insurance for pet owners as part of Tenants Insurance. We certainly encourage such a requirement as additional protection for landlords.

We believe New Brunswick is the perfect home for individuals and families of all shapes and sizes, furry members included.