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RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP

DECEMBER 2011


ABOUT THIS BOOKLET This booklet explains what pets you are allowed to keep in your home and the conditions you must agree to prior to the Association giving permission for you to keep a pet.

CONTENTS Introduction

3

Do I Need Permission?

3

Conditions of Permission

4

Applying for Permission

5

Responsible Pet Ownership

5

Questions to Consider

6

Useful Contacts

7

Contact Details

Back Cover

Pet Agreement Forms

Perforated Sheet


INTRODUCTION The Associations policy on pet ownership says: We recognise that keeping pets offers significant benefits to their owners and therefore encourage responsible pet ownership amongst our tenants. However controls must be in place to prevent irresponsible pet ownership which can cause suffering to animals and a nuisance to neighbours.

DO I NEED PERMISSION? Tenants will not be allowed to keep pets at their home without the prior written consent of the Association. Exemptions to this statement are: n Small animals (such as rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and fish). n Assistance dogs (i.e. guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf). Permission must be granted for all other pets including: n Cats and Dogs (subject to a restriction of two cats or two dogs in houses or one of each) including where the tenant plans to breed pets for re-sale. n Exotic animals such as reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The Association WILL NOT grant permission for: n Animals which fall under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (1976). n Farm animals, livestock or any other animal not suitable as a pet. n Animals which fall under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991). These dogs are only permitted if a resident has obtained a certificate of exception from the courts.

Ownership of certain types of dog is banned: n Pit Bull Terrier n Japanese Tosa n Dogo Argentinio n Fila Braziliero It is also an offence to allow any dog to be dangerously out of control. You could face a prison sentence of up to two years if you own a banned dog or do not ensure your dog is kept under control in public. Further information can be found on the UK Direct Government website www.direct.gov.uk Permission may not be granted where there is an ongoing problem with pet ownership in the household or there has been a problem in the past.

Responsible Pet Ownership

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CONDITIONS FOR PERMISSION 1. Any permission granted will be on the basis that tenants are responsible for the health and welfare of their pets. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, this is called a duty of care. This requires day-to-day management and care of the pet. Any questions about the care of a pet will be referred to a vet or specialist organisation that can help.

4. Pets must not cause a nuisance to neighbours and the community; this includes: n Roaming and unattended animals n Pets fouling communal areas and neighbours gardens n Excessive noise n Unpleasant odours from pets n Aggressive animals

2. As part of the tenancy agreement, tenants agree to make good any damage caused to the property by their pets. Most damage caused by pets is due to lack of supervision or control of the pet and therefore tenants must act responsibility to prevent this.

This is not an exhaustive list

3. The control of pets and any pets visiting the property will be the tenant’s responsibility. Any cats allowed free access outside must not cause a nuisance to neighbours. Dogs must always be kept on a lead and wear a collar and identity tag, when in public areas, and never allowed unsupervised outside the tenant’s home. Dog mess must be removed immediately.

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Responsible Pet Ownership

5. No pet should be left in the property when the tenant is away, unless clear arrangements have been made to provide adequate care If we have evidence confirming any of the conditions have been breached, we will consider withdrawing permission. We will take legal action against serious or persistent reports of nuisance caused by pets.


APPLYING FOR PERMISSION New tenants need to seek permission for any pets they intend to bring to their new home. Existing tenants should seek permission before obtaining a pet, if permission is required.

Please complete the form at the back of this booklet and return to your Neighbourhood Housing Officer.

RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP Looking after a pet is a big responsibility and should be thought about carefully before you decide to have one. Pet owners have a responsibility both to the animals welfare and the community they live in.

When you go away for a day or longer, it is up to you to make suitable arrangements. Small caged pets can be looked after by family or friends, but other pets will need more suitable arrangements.

Pets are totally dependent on you for their physical and mental wellbeing. It is important to regularly exercise dogs, as this can be a main cause of barking and discomfort, dogs get bored and restless if they are not walked.

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QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER Before deciding to keep a pet you may want to ask yourself the following questions: n

n

6

Does the pet fit your lifestyle and family circumstances? Are you away from your home for long periods of time. Do you have young children in the household? Is your accommodation suitable? Do you have enough room? Is there adequate areas where you live to exercise the dog (access to open spaces) or is the area you live suitable for cats to roam

n

Have you thought about how much a pet will cost? What about unexpected costs such as vet bills? For example, weekly food, medical bills, flea and worming treatment.

n

Are you going to insure or microchip your pet? Both are advisable

Responsible Pet Ownership

n

What will happen to the pet if you go on holiday?

n

Do you live near a local vet, who can provide medical care for your pet if required?

n

Are you going to have your pet neutered? This not only reduces unwanted pets, but can be beneficial to the pets health.

Remember, we will take legal action if your pet causes nuisance amongst your neighbours. Please think about the above questions before taking on an animal.


USEFUL CONTACTS RSPCA Phone (National for general information): 0300 1234 555 24 Hour National Cruelty and Advice Line: 0300 1234 999

PDSA (Vetinary care charity for low income households) Phone: 01952 290999 Website: www.pdsa.org.uk

Website: www.rspca.org.uk

Royal College of Vetinary Surgeons Dogs Trust

Phone: 020 7222 2001

Phone: 020 7837 0006

Website: www.rcvs.org.uk

Website: www.dogstrust.org.uk

Cats Protecton Phone National Helpline: 03000 12 12 12

Responsible Pet Ownership

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This document is available in other languages as well as in alternative formats on request

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CONTACT DETAILS Hafod Housing Association Ltd St Hilary Court, Copthorne Way, Culverhouse Cross, CARDIFF, CF5 6ES Tel: 029 2067 5800 Fax: 029 2067 2499 enquiries@hafod.org.uk www.hafod.org.uk Hafod Housing Association Registered as a Charitable Housing Association under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act NO 18766R Registered with the Welsh Assembly Government NO L034 This document is available in other languages and alternative formats on request.


PET AGREEMENT FORM Name of resident/s: …………………………………………………………………… Address: ………………………………………………….……………………………… ………………………………………….…………………….………………………… ……………………….………………………………………………….……………… Type of Pet: …………………………………………… Pets Age: …………………… Description of pet if cat or dog: ………………………………………………….……… ………………………………………………………………….…………………….… ……………………………………………….………………………………………… I am applying to Hafod Association to keep the above pet(s) and by signing this form I am agreeing to the following: n n n

To be responsible for pets at all times To ensure pets do not cause a nuisance to neighbours To comply with the conditions of permission

I am aware that the Association may take legal action against me if my pets do cause a nuisance. I have received a copy of the leaflet ‘Responsible Pet Ownership – guidance for Hafod Housing Association Residents’. If I vacate the property I understand I must take my pet(s) with me. If I do leave pets in the property I give permission for the Association to arrange their removal. I agree to make good any damage my pet has caused. Signed: ……………………………………………………………………. Date: …………………….………………………………………………… The Association has granted permission to keep the above pet: Signed: ………………………………………………………………… Post: ……………………………………………………………………… Date: ……………………………………………………….……………….


Don’t forget you must complete this form and get it authorised before you can give me a home...

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