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Struggling with your pet? – CARE of South Bend

CARE of South Bend is working to create a community, with an emphasis on population control, where no animal of reasonable health or temperament is euthanized simply because he or she does not have a home.

Struggling with your pet?

We believe in making lifetime commitments to companion animals. In support of that, we offer a variety of resources to help you meet common challenges that pet owners face.
Before giving up a beloved member of your family, please consider these resources. They may just what you need to keep your animal.

Behavior issues

Does your dog:

  • Dig holes.
  • Chase cars.
  • Bark too much.
  • Chew on furniture.

Does your cat:

  • Skip the litter box.
  • Scratch furnishings.
  • Yowl night and day.

Medical or training solutions exist for virtually every behavior problem if you are willing to work to solve them. Here are some local trainers who might be able to help:

Because medical issues cause many behavior problems, veterinarians can also be a great resource. Here are some local veterinarians who might be able to help: https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Veterinarians&find_loc=South+Bend%2C+IN&ns=1

Tips for Renting with Pets

Many landlords enforce a “no pets” policy when faced with renting to pet owners. Here are some suggestions on ways you can approach the challenge of securing rental housing for both you and your animals.

  • Be honest. The landlord will find out if you have a secret pet, or that you have three cats instead of one.
  • Gather references. If you have rented with your animal before, produce letters from your previous landlords indicating that you and your pet both acted responsibly.
  • Develop a resume for your animal. Be creative. Include breed, weight, height, age, whether your pet is spayed or neutered, personal hygiene, behavior traits, training background, veterinarian’s name and phone number, and personal references. Give this resume to prospective landlords.
  • Discuss your animal with the rental agent or landlord. Landlords are more likely to rent to someone who can prove that their animal has been spayed or neutered, is housetrained, and is socialized, trained and exercised enough to live happily in an apartment.
  • Introduce your pet. A well-behaved animal may be able to convince the landlord when discussions have failed.
  • Put it in writing. Offer to negotiate an addendum to the rental agreement or lease, indicating exactly what your landlord will expect of you and your animal, and agree in writing to pay a specified additional security deposit to cover the cost of any animal-related damages.
  • Propose a trial period. Offer to accept a short-term rental period, during which the landlord can see if you and your animal will be acceptable long-term tenants. If the landlord agrees to rent to you and your animal, be sure to get all the specifics in writing. Anyone can have a change of heart, so make sure that a landlord’s change of heart does not result in an unplanned change of residence for you.
  • Ask before you adopt. If you decide to adopt a pet while renting, discuss it with your landlord first. If your landlord says no to a dog, he or she may say yes to a cat or other small animal.
  • Be responsible. If a landlord accepts your animal, the most important responsibility you have, next to the loving care of your companion, is to set an example. Do not allow your animal to damage the rented property in any way. Keep your dog from barking and keep your cat from roaming. If your animal does cause damage, tell your landlord immediately. Pay for the damage and make all arrangements to repair it as soon as possible. Remember, only by being a responsible guardian can you turn the tide in favor of a “welcome pets” rental policy.

Looking for pet-friendly rentals?

New Baby?

Here are some pointers on how to address this important life change with your pet:


There are steps you can take to manage allergies so you can keep your pet. For example, bathing your pet with a product such as Allerpet regularly (a solution you apply to your pet’s coat), can help. Also, following some simple home cleaning procedures, like vacuuming and washing bedding often will help too. Here are some additional pointers on managing pet allergies:

Still need help?

If you have exhausted your options and circumstances require you to give up your pet, please consider finding a new home for your pet on your own. Re-homing your pet will take time, patience and effort. However, your pet will be happier during the transition, and you have the added benefit of choosing his new home.
Here are some pointers on rehoming your pet: http://bestfriends.org/resources/rehome-my-dog-cat-or-other-pet

If you are in the military and going on deployment, consider contacting Dogs on Deployment. This non-profit provides an online network for services members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner’s service commitments. Here is their link: https://www.dogsondeployment.org/

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