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Local Aimara Magaña on why Surrey's landlords need to be more dog-friendly
Louie is a two year old Spanador (half Cocker Spaniel and half Labrador). He is a good natured dog; very loving and well behaved despite the fact that he had never been trained before - Louie didn't know his own name when he came to us!
When we first found out about Louie, it was through Facebook. Last August we saw a picture of him with the caption: 'looking for a new home', so we decided to find out more.
His owners had not had him for very long, but they couldn't keep him anymore. We picked him up he next day. He was very afraid, stressed, and showed behavioural traits that indicated he had not had a great life before. He is essentially a rescue dog, although we didn't get him from a dog's home.
Although we are not professionals, we have been training him and with a lot of kindness and patience, he has been rehabilitating and is getting a lot better. He has settled down with us and I am sure that his quality of life now is the exact opposite of what it used to be: now he gets good exercise regularly, he has a vet, insurance, has his vaccinations up to date and is well looked after. He is, in short, a happy dog and we love him (and he loves us) very much.
Sadly however, our landlord has decided, out of the blue, that he wants Louie out because 'he doesn't want dogs in his property'. It is worth mentioning that there is an obnoxious and annoying dog living upstairs but for some mysterious reason, the landlord is ok with that one, but not with Louie. We were told to 'just get rid of him' and we were given an ultimatum: 'either he goes or you go'. We have tried to negotiate with him and despite offering him a pet deposit, he won't change his mind. He gave us until the end of the month.
We decided to look for a new place to live; a place where we can take Louie to without problems so that he continues to thrive. He has had enough trauma in his short life and he needs care, time and attention. God knows what he's been through, and we don't want him to suffer again.
We are making literally dozens of phone calls everyday to estate agents covering Sutton, Epsom, Banstead, Kingston, Surbiton and surrounding areas. The result is that we have been abused, ignored, and finally told to give up because of a transparent excuse that has one bottom line: we want more money.
What we can afford is a one bedroom property - and we don't really need anymore! But still it doesn't seem to be worth any landlord's time. We have even turned to the council for advice. They responded by telling us to do 'our own leg work' because they can't do anything.
I have also been searching online, and posting threads on online forums, pet forums and Twitter. So far nothing has turned up. Finally I decided to introduce Louie in a different way: through an online presentation that can be found at haikudeck.com. I wanted to put the appeal out there and try to reach as many people as possible using the internet. Maybe that way we'll be more successful, and who knows; Louie found us online, so maybe we can find a better place to live that way too.
In the meantime, if landlords in Surrey could be a little bit more considerate and animal-friendly, that would be much appreciated!
If you are interested in helping Louie and his family find somewhere to live, email Aimara at email@example.com
What do you think? Should Surrey landlords be more animal-friendly? Have you had a bad experience renting locally? Let us know below.