Kettering council tenants will soon need permission to have a pet

A new pet policy is being introduced by the council to ensure pets are properly looked after and not annoying others.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:55 pm
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:56 pm
The policy will require all tenants who are pet owners to get written permission from the council.
The policy will require all tenants who are pet owners to get written permission from the council.

All Kettering council tenants will need to have written permission to keep a pet under a new policy.

The authority is bringing in a new pet policy to try and prevent nuisance animals having an effect on neighbours as well as making sure the pets are responsibly looked after.

Under the new guidelines dangerous dogs will not be allowed as pets, neither will wild animals such as monkeys and livestock, and any tenant who has previous animal cruelty convictions will be refused permission.

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Anyone living in a sheltered accommodation flat will also be prevented from owning a pet.

The report, which is due to be discussed by the resource and development committee tomorrow (January 28) outines the reasons for the new policy being considered.

It says: “Studies have shown that pet ownership can enhance the owner’s mental and physical health and encourage exercise, plus pets make great companions. However, while pets can have a very positive impact on their environment, irresponsibly owned pets can be the cause of much misery and suffering to the animals themselves and to those who live around them.

“The challenges – ranging from the high-profile issues of animal hoarding and intimidation with dogs, to the lower level but equally problematic issues of cat spraying and barking dogs – can be improved by having a clear and well enforced pet policy.”

It continues: “Tenants may keep more than two smaller animals such as rodents, birds, reptiles or fish, but the council will only give permission to keep a reasonable number of pets. The housing office staff will use their discretion based on the number of animals the tenant wants to keep, the type of animal and the type of accommodation needed for the small pet, the size of the property and the number of people living in the property when deciding whether to give permission or not. In order to keep the number of animals kept to a reasonable number, the council stresses the importance of neutering animals or, where appropriate, keeping them in same sex combinations.”

Under the new policy anyone who shares a communal garden will have to keep a dog on a lead and animals that live outside or in hutches will not be permitted.

Tenants who already have a pet will have to apply for retrospective consent.

The authority has consulted local animal shelter Wood Green Animal Charity about the policy, which adheres to good practice guidance from the RSPCA.

The resources committee will refer the new policy to the council’s executive committee for adoption.