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A local resident is frustrated with the lack of rental housing opportunities for pet owners.

Annie Fehr says with having to find a new place before the end of the month, she's giving away her two cats because of the difficulty of finding a pet-friendly home.

"I am beyond frustrated by being turned away... they just choose someone without pets."

She says out of nearly 200 rental opportunities, only a handful have been pet-friendly, "you have to get really lucky," she says. "You can find them but it's really hard when you're on a short time frame."

Landlords often cite the potential damage a pet could create, even though Fehr says they've offered to pay for any future repairs.

"If people would just be a little more open minded and give us a chance, instead of assuming they know what's going to happen, they would see that not all pet owners are irresponsible," she says.

Fehr says new legislation would help, giving pet owners more of a say.

A bill was introduced in parliament in 2010 hoping to better protect tenants who owned pets, citing people who own pets are more "socially connected and are in better health, less depressed, and more physically fit".

The bill was put forward by Jon Gerrard, Liberal leader at the time, and included a petition signed by more than 6,000 Manitobans.

However, the bill was killed by the NDP government at the time, and opposed by Manitoba landlords.

While more landlords are open to small dog owners, Fehr says cats owners have a greater challenge. At the same time, local vets and humane societies continue to fight an uphill battle of rising cat populations.

Moving forward, Fehr says there needs to be more of a conversation between pet-owners and landowners.

"We need to raise awareness about the fact there are so many pet-owners out there who are responsible."

pets2Moving forward, Fehr says there needs to be more of a conversation between pet-owners and landowners

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