Public housing to allow one pet per unit

The province is offering to put out the welcome mat for pets in its public housing units, but it will only allow one animal per home.

The Department of Social Development caused a stir when it issued eviction notices to some pet–owning tenants in February.

While it backed down from the plan, the policy remained under review until now.

“We know that it is important, it is part of the quality of life for the families and the seniors as well, living in those units,” said Madeline Dubé, the social development minister.

She said as of Dec. 1, people living in public housing will be allowed one pet per unit. People who currently have more than one animal in their home will be allowed to keep them, but they must adhere to the one-pet rule after their current animals die.

“We decided that those who have more than one can keep them but they will have to register them. That is very, very important.”

Mixed reaction

Norma Gallant was thrilled to hear of the new policy. The Moncton woman lives in public housing. She has a disability, and she said caring for her cat, Minou, helps her stay active.

“He makes me get up and do things for him,” she said. “I can’t walk, but he makes me have to get up at least, and get on the wheelchair. He makes me move.”

But Lorna Maloney, who lives in the same building as Gallant, is opposed to having any animals in the apartments. She has allergies, and was recently treated for throat cancer.

“When I moved in here 19 years ago, I signed a form saying no pets, and they should have kept their word,” she said.

The new pet policy states that tenants have to keep their pets on a leash when leaving their units.