Pets in Rental Housing

Approximately 8 million animals end up in shelters each year, and moving-related issues are among the most common reasons for pet relinquishment. In an American Humane Association survey of 93 shelters across the country, “Moving” was the most common reason given by owners for relinquishing a pet, and “Landlord won’t allow” was the fourth most-common reason for relinquishment.

Many pet owners are heartbroken at the thought of giving up a family member, but they often don’t know how to make moving with their pet possible. We have put together the following tips to help you and your pet stay together, even when faced with downsizing to an apartment or searching for another rental property.

Finding Pet-Friendly Housing

  • Be completely honest about the number, size and types of pets you have.
  • Tell potential landlords about your good credit and/or good rental history at your initial introduction, and provide references from previous landlords if possible. Your credit and rental history are usually the most important factors considered by private landlords. Knowing that you are a good tenant will make most landlords feel much more comfortable about accepting your pets and will often help you negotiate a lower pet deposit — or avoid it altogether.
  • Be sure that your pets are spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated before you begin searching for a rental. Unneutered pets are much more likely to bite, urine mark and stray from the property, and these behaviors can be very costly for landlords.
  • Get a letter of recommendation from your pets’ veterinarian if possible. A good history of caring for your pets will demonstrate that you are a responsible owner.
  • Don’t hesitate to point out other attributes that make you and your pets attractive tenants. Do you have a long-term employment history? Are you quiet and clean? Has your dog had obedience training? Are your cats kept indoors all the time? All of these factors will make you much more appealing to potential landlords.
  • If you do not have a prior rental history or your credit is less than perfect, offer to negotiate an additional pet deposit.
  • Offer to have the carpets cleaned prior to vacating the property and agree to incorporate those terms into your lease.
  • When you arrive at your new home, keep your pets secured in a crate or a closed room until you are finished unloading your moving van. Be sure to provide your pet with his/her bed, litter box, food/water bowls and familiar toys as quickly as possible after arriving at your new home.

Pet-Friendly Tips for Landlords- follow up to previous article Pets in Rental Housing

According to the 2009/2010 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, 62 percent of American households have at least one pet. That means pet-friendly property owners have more than doubled the pool of potential tenants than landlords who do not accept pets. Promoting your property as “pet friendly” can be a powerful marketing tool that will allow you to fill vacancies more quickly. According to the 2007 American Veterinary Medical Association pet ownership survey, 52 percent of Americans consider their pets to be members of the family. Despite this statistic, hundreds of thousands of people relinquish their pets to animal shelters every year simply because they cannot easily find pet-friendly housing. 

Tips for landlords:

  • Consider each potential tenant and his or her pet(s) on a case-by-case basis. Rather than setting predetermined rules limiting the number, size or breed of pets allowed, assessing each renter and each pet as an individual will ensure a much better outcome for both you and your property. For example, a Great Dane is a very large dog, but this breed only needs a moderate amount of exercise and can live quite comfortably in an apartment.
  • Request references from prior landlords, if applicable. A reference check will allow you to quickly find out if the tenant has a good rental history and maintained their previous residence in good condition.
  • Require that pets be spayed and neutered. Spaying and neutering not only prevents unplanned litters, but also eliminates many undesirable behaviors that can cause potential property damage or liability. Neutered animals are much less likely to urine mark, display aggression or escape by digging under fences.
  • Require that pets be vaccinated for distemper and rabies. Rabies vaccinations are required by law in most states, and up-to-date vaccinations are generally a good indication of a responsible pet owner.
  • Request a reasonable and fully refundable pet deposit. There is no reason to automatically assume that a pet is going to cause property damage that will warrant additional rent or a nonrefundable deposit. Both pets and people have the potential to cause damage! The cost of any damages, regardless of the cause, should be assessed and subtracted from the deposit when the tenant vacates the property.
  • Arrange to meet the pet(s) yourself. Seeing firsthand that a pet is friendly and well-behaved will help to allay fears of damage or liability.
  • Incorporate specific pet care and property maintenance requirements into the lease, such as:
    • Require cats to be kept strictly indoors
    • Restrict the amount of time and/or hours that dogs can be left unattended in a fenced yard
    • Prohibit tethering of dogs on the property
    • Require that dog feces be removed and properly disposed of on a daily basis. If the property has common ground rather than a private yard, require that owners always clean up after their dogs immediately

Featured dogs- At this time there are no dogs available for adoption


Featured cat- Lisa

Lisa is a beautiful medium haired young lady of 1 year old. She has a white mark in the middle of her back within the black fur. She is very friendly, comes when called, loves people and attention. She enjoys being brushed. Likes to play with toys and be with people.

Other available cats-

Joey and Rosa are a bonded pair of cats about 1 year of age. The love each other and groom each other and play together.


All animals will be spayed or neutered prior to leaving shelter and receive 1 year rabies vaccination and city license. Ages are approximate.

The City of Mesquite Animal Shelter located at 795 Hardy Way is open for adoptions from 11am until 1 pm, Monday through Saturday, Sunday 1pm -3pm. Please call 702-346-7415 during these hours to speak to the front desk. Animal Control may be reached by phone or voicemail at 702-346-5268 

The animals submitted to the media may have changed so please visit our Petfinder website for a current listing and more detailed information on the animals.

Please also check our Facebook pages for lost and found animals along with pet information.  and