Stroud District Council is a Purrfect Landlord
Published: Wednesday, 28 November, 2018
Stroud District Council has been praised by the Cats Protection League for having a pet policy which allows its tenants to keep pets.
In a newly published `Purrfect Landlord Guide - a guide to cat-friendly tenancy agreements’, the Cats Protection League included SDC as a case study in the section about social landlords.
Stroud District Council changed its pet policy in 2013; previously tenants had been allowed to bring existing pets when moving into sheltered accommodation, but were not allowed to acquire new pets. After consulting with tenants a new policy was created that allowed sheltered tenants to keep new pets with the council’s permission.
The policy was extended to all council tenants the following year.
Stroud District Council was commended for its “responsible and reasonable” request that cats should be microchipped, vaccinated and neutered, “which has helped prevent problems with multi-cat households and stray/feral cat colonies.”
Cllr Mattie Ross was chair of SDC’s housing committee when the policy was changed. She said:
“Our existing policy ignored the obvious benefits of pet ownership, particularly with tackling social isolation and improving mental health.”
Research by Cats Protection League states that keeping a cat has a positive benefit on the owner’s health. In a 2018 survey, 93% of social landlords credited cat ownership as having a positive impact for their tenants.
SDC Animal Warden Alex Myrie agreed: “The benefits of owning any pet is the same – they provide companionship encourage exercise and the action of stroking a pet can lower blood pressure.”
Stroud District Council sheltered tenant Wayne Kroncke said of his dog Poppy:
“Having a pet gives you a reason to get up in the morning, it gets me out, I go places and get exercise. She’s my family.”
“I think the council’s pet policy is wonderful,” agreed fellow tenant Carole Wise, who owns Springer Spaniel Charlie.
The `Purrfect Landlord Guide’, with information for both tenants and landlords can be read online on the Cats Protection League website www.cats.org.uk/