Anyone who rents in Southern California knows how difficult it can be to find quality, affordable housing. Those of us who have pets have an even tougher time. According to a recent survey, 83 percent of renters said they have had some difficulty finding housing due to a no-pet policy. Some landlords will allow pets, but only certain types, while others might have a list of specific breeds they won’t allow. I’ve rented from property managers who weren’t concerned about what type of pet you had, but they set a limit as to how much your pet could weigh. Once you find out what’s allowed by your landlord, make sure to get permission in writing.

Find a feline. Let’s face it, cats are easier. They don’t need to go for walks, are easy to litter-box train, and groom themselves, so they don’t need to be bathed. If you keep them inside, they don’t require as many vaccines, which lowers their cost of care. In addition, they are just as happy playing with an expensive toy as they are a cardboard box and a wad of wax paper. No wonder cats are now the most popular pet in America — with 74 million of them being owned. If you’re looking for a specific breed of cat, the experts at say that British shorthairs are undemanding and independent cats, making them a good fit if you have a busier lifestyle. On the other hand, if you want a lap cat that’s good for cuddling, a ragdoll is the right choice. Obviously, every cat has its own personality, regardless of the breed, so make sure to spend time with the pet you are considering adopting.

Think thumper. Rabbits have the social quality of a dog-like companion. And, like cats, rabbits can be litter-box trained very easily and don’t need to be walked. Furthermore, rabbits’ schedules match up with people schedules. Our furry friends are most active at dawn and dusk, which corresponds well with the times most of us are starting our day or getting home from work and ready to have our pets entertain us with their antics.

Rodents to the rescue. Animals such as reptiles, rodents, and fish are easy to care for, and they require little veterinary care. Many small pets — such as guinea pigs — can be very social and even recognize your smell and start squeaking with excitement when you are near.

Dogs aren’t out of the equation. If you have your heart set on a dog, but you also rent, you’ll want to choose a breed that’s small and fairly low maintenance if you’ll be living in an apartment. Breeds such as Boston terriers, French bulldogs, and dachshunds make good apartment-friendly choices according to Remember that even small breed dogs need exercise, so if your dwellings are limited, make sure there’s a park nearby.

If you are serious about adding a pet to your family but are strapped for time, do your research first to make sure that the pet you choose is the right fit for you as adopting a pet should be for the lifetime of that animal. Once you are ready, visit your local animal shelter or check out for more information.

Adoptable Pet of the Week

Chispita is a 4-year-old female Chihuahua who has a great personality! She is a spunky little girl who loves everyone she meets. She may be on the smaller side, but she is very active. Chispita would love to accompany you on long walks and hikes. She is a great dog that gets along with other dogs, cats, and small children.

For more information on adopting, visit the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Rd., or call 805-964-4777 for more information. Shelter hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. You can also visit” to check out more adoptable pets.

Lisa Acho Remorenko is executive director of Animal Adoption Solutions,


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