It’s a dog’s life for pets dumped by renters
Black Widow’s last-ditch attempt to overthrow murder conviction
THE housing crisis has a new victim – the family pet.
Tenants being forced on to the rental market have discovered just how hard it is to find a home for their fur babies.
Trade Me has 9099 rental properties available, but only 1367 allow pets – a mere 15 per cent – and that means more often than not pets are winding up with the SPCA.
‘‘One in five home calls we get are from people who are having to rehome their animals because they can’t find a petfriendly place,’’ said SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen.
‘‘In Auckland, we’d probably get at least 15 to 20 calls per week.
While pet-friendly rentals have been a national issue for some years, the property crunch has exacerbated the problem, she said.
‘‘It’s a growing issue because housing has become a lot more unaffordable and more people are forced into the renting option and landlords are pretty against it.’’
A 2017 Barfoot and Thompson report shows 11 per cent of its new Auckland rentals allowed pets and the Waikato SPCA is fielding two to three phone calls a day about unwanted cats.
Its shelter is being overrun with cats abandoned by their owners, said centre manager Laura Vander Kley.
‘‘We’ve got this real vicious cycle of people not taking care of their animals, the landlords getting dumped with the animals and then that makes them not want to rent to people who have pets and then that leaves people not being able to find places with pets,’’ Vander Kley said.
In Australia, the state of Victoria passed legislation to allow tenants to have pets and, in January, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced Housing NZ’s pet policy will become more accommodating to allow tenants to own pets for reasons beyond special needs on a case-by-case basis.
For the private rental market, the solution is simpler, Midgen said.
‘‘YLandlords could give people options and say you can have an animal here if it is desexed, if it is microchipped and a good socialised animal.
‘‘They could even say that there is a bond against any damage done.’’ BLACK Widow Helen Milner has requested bodily samples from the man she poisoned with antiallergy drug phenergan in a final attempt to overturn her murder conviction.
The bid by Milner, who is serving a 17-year jail sentence for killing her husband Philip Nisbet, 47, in 2009, is made under the Royal prerogative of mercy procedure and aimed at securing a new trial.
The application has enraged Nisbet’s sister LeeAnne Cartier, who called it a ‘‘witch hunt’’.
‘‘I hate that the New Zealand taxpayer is paying for this bulls...,’’ said Cartier, who led the charge to have her brother’s death reinvestigated after police initially decided he had committed suicide. Her detective work persuaded the police to reexamine the death.
‘‘It’ll be nine years in May since Phil’s death and she is still playing games,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s just a wild goose chase and abuse of the process.’’
Cartier said Coroner Susan Johnson had asked her to comment on the release of samples of Nisbet’s blood, urine, liver and hair held by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. Cartier said she would oppose the release of the samples, but it was a difficult decision.
Crown Law has opposed the application saying Milner can’t be allowed to ‘‘shop around’’ for a new defence.
Milner was convicted of murder and attempted murder after a jury trial in 2014. The Crown said she probably mixed phenergan into her husband’s dinner and then may have suffocated him once he was sedated. She then fabricated suicide notes to throw investigators off the track.
Her appeal to the Court of Appeal was rejected and the Supreme Court refused her leave to appeal.
Kittens run the risk of missing out when owners find new digs.