Can you imagine making a choice between your home and your dogs?
It’s unthinkable, yet this is exactly what happened to Vancouver dog-mom Elena.
Originally from Russia, Elena moved to Vancouver when she was 10 years old before moving to Mexico 9 years later.
It was while Elena was living in Cancun that she got her precious dogs – 4 beautiful chihuahuas. Dad, Topu, Mom Prada, and their 2 female pups Bakita and Goldie.
They were her world and when she moved back to Vancouver in 2014, there was no way she was leaving her beloved dogs behind.
Elena was excited to be back in Canada, especially Vancouver which is widely considered one of the most dog friendly cities in the country.
However, when Elena found out that Greater Vancouver had a law allowing a maximum of 2 dogs per household – she was faced with a tough decision.
“There was no way I was giving up any of my dogs.” Elena explains. “I couldn’t separate them. It wasn’t even an option for me which meant I had to move out of Vancouver.”
“I couldn’t believe a city with so many dog lovers would have such strict and unrealistic rules for owners.” admits Elena.
The dog population is estimated to be up to 150,000 in the City of Vancouver alone but there are many restrictions for renters.
For example, the official policy regarding pets in Metro Vancouver managed housing complexes states that “a tenant may keep a total of two of the following animals as pets: a bird, a rabbit, a rodent, a cat or a dog.”*
And as any dog owner renting in Downtown Vancouver will know, Strata Laws can have even tighter restrictions with many apartments having a one dog limit.
So, for Elena, there was only one choice. She started looking for somewhere she could live with her 4 dogs and thankfully, this story has a happy ending.
The family moved to Port Moody 2 years ago and live on the first floor of a house with landlords who adore pets as much as Elena does.
Although Elena has found a solution that her and her gorgeous pups enjoy, she still feels strongly about the laws and doesn't agree with them.
She admits, “I understand why there has to be restrictions for the safety of animals because unfortunately there are some irresponsible pet owners that ruin it for others.
“But we have so many pet shelters nowadays and surely the strict bylaws limits people who would love to adopt more dogs?”
For Topu (11), Prada (9) and their pups Bakita and Goldie (8), they couldn’t be happier with their new lives in Port Moody and love all the space they have to play in their backyard.
And as for Elena, she just loves being able to live with her 4 furry besties, even if she does get mistaken for a full-time dog-walker when she takes them out to the park!
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