New pet policy gives all dogs hope for homes

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - This is Goose.

“He’s a very, very sweet boy. He does have some separation anxiety – he really just wants to be with his people all the time,” says Heather Clyde, the Operations Director with Homeward Animal Shelter.

This friendly and attentive Pitt Bull-mix has been waiting for his people and his forever home for weeks, and now his wait could be over.

As of Monday, Fargo’s Property Resources Group is throwing out its old pet policy and allowing all dog breeds - including so-called 'aggressive breeds' like Goose - a chance to live in its buildings.

In a statement, the management group says while certain breeds have bad reputations, they believe a dog’s aggressiveness comes down to its own individual environment, training, and behavior.

“To see a large group wanting to do this is amazing,” Clyde says. “We hope more places will consider this in the future because there’s a lot of people out there that have breeds that are considered dangerous. And unfortunately, those people either having to give up their animal because they can’t find a place that allows them or sometimes they end up living in a less than ideal situation.”

Property Resources Group says the change to its pet policy is based on several factors. Some therapy or support dogs happen to fall in the ‘aggressive breeds’ category, but legally have to be allowed in anyhow. PRG also says prospective tenants have been asking for a change.

Dog trainers and rescuers celebrate the change, and say it’s about time.

“This is the first place we know of in town that has actually approached us for advice on doing this and it was great to hear from a company who is actually looking at getting rid of these archaic policies based solely off breed,” Clyde says. “If more rental companies are willing to adopt these types of policies and be more open minded – it will definitely help us be able to place more dogs.”

“Because they are considered that to society, insurance companies and landlords and things like that have said that these breeds are something they won’t handle,” says Phynix Bruggeman, the owner of Creative K9 Solutions. “There’s liability added there in their head.”

“I have never dealt with a human aggressive pitbull. I’ve not seen one, and I’ve dealt with over 2,500 dogs,” Bruggeman continues. “Most of the time, their tails are going to wag really hard, and they have really thin tails so it will hurt really bad in that aspect. But for the most part, they’re not going to hurt you.”

If renters have concerns that the new pet policy means all dogs - regardless of their behavior - are welcome, PRG says, that’s not the case. The property company is working with Bruggeman, who will evaluate the dogs before they ever put a paw inside a PRG apartment.

“What Property Resource Group has done is – they’ve kind of changed the way things are working. They’re not looking at dogs based on what breed they are, they’re looking at the individual dog itself,” Bruggeman says. “So the dog that I’m working with – does it have a bite history? Is it OK with random people? How does it respond to new situations? So we’re doing a full, complete assessment to determine that dog and the actual liability that is there with that particular dog.”

The new policy ensures everyone can feel safe at home - and everyone, including dogs like Goose, have homes to feel safe in.



 
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