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Last year, a miniature schnauzer called Angus hit the headlines in a big way. The beloved pet of Jo Cooper, a resident of the Horizon apartment building in Darlinghurst, was at the centre of a bitter four-and-a-half-year legal battle surrounding the right of Ms Cooper to keep him in her home.
While the initial verdict didn’t go her way, a surprise NSW Court of Appeal ruling last October subsequently overturned the right of apartment blocks to pass by-laws prohibiting animals. In short, it means no strata block can set blanket bans on apartment pets.
While this is fantastic news for animal-loving apartment owners, there are a few points that you still need to consider before calling in our mobile Sydney vet to meet your new fluffball.
The Court of Appeal ruling in the Jo Cooper case stated that a blanket ban on animals infringed the limitation that a by-law must not be “harsh, unconscionable or oppressive” and that the by-law also restricted the lawful use of each lot.
Apartment pet owners – as per any animal owners – still have a responsibility to ensure their pet isn’t a nuisance or danger to other tenants. So, it may be that some apartments implement by-laws to prevent excessively noisy birds or dogs, for instance.
The other issue is that it really only applies to apartment owners. For renters, it’s the same old story.
There are no restrictions in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) prohibiting you from keeping a pet or requiring you to ask for your landlord’s consent to keep a pet; however, landlords frequently include pet restrictions in residential tenancy agreements.
That means while refusing pets to apartment owners might be seen as being “harsh, unconscionable or oppressive” it’s unfortunately still the case for many animal-loving renters.
If you are excited at the thought of finally bringing home your apartment pet, our advice is not to jump in without some planning. The choice of animal really will depend on the type of apartment you have. Is it on ground level or a high-rise? How large is it? And very importantly, do you have a balcony, courtyard or any outdoor space?
Even with little space, there are some animals very suited to apartment settings. Cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and rats, for instance, make great companions, are clean and can be very comfortable indoors.
Bear in mind that the RSPCA recommends that cats and kittens live an indoor lifestyle where possible, to protect native bird and wildlife, and for their own safety. At VETaround, we make the health and safety of your pets a top priority and you should too.
So, if you are in a high rise, you also need to ensure that your pet is 100% safe and not at risk of falls from windows or balconies.
So, you have an apartment and you’re set on a dog? Our Sydney mobile vet provides in-home vet services across Sydney, in houses and apartments. You just need to be sure that you have the right dog – for your peace of mind, and very importantly, for their health and wellbeing.
While your first thought might be to look for a small breed, traits are also key. When you’re researching dogs, also think about their temperaments, inclination to bark and energy levels. If you have children, make sure your preferred choice is good with your kids’ ages.
Some dogs such as Bichon Frise, English and French Bulldogs, Pugs, Chihuahua, Maltese, Dachshund, Shih Tzu and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel tend to be apartment owner favourites due to lower energy levels and low shedding. Even low energy dogs do need exercise to maintain a healthy weight, so they will still need a daily walk or a run at the dog park.
As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to look after every aspect of your pet’s health and wellbeing, from pup or kitten through to geriatric care. And we’re here to help.
Our Sydney mobile vet provides high quality and comprehensive in-home veterinary services, including annual health checks, pet vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention and worm control. We also focus on the long-term health of every animal, with services including weight management and palliative pet care. And we provide hospital services from our partner clinic.