If you're a pet owner and have ever tried to rent an apartment or home, you know just how difficult it can be to find a place that fits your needs and accepts your pets.
With the growth Sioux Falls has seen over the past few years, it's becoming an even bigger problem.
There's a huge demand for any kind of housing in Sioux Falls today, but dog owners looking for a place to rent in town are having a hard time finding any available, pet-friendly units.
"It was chaotic trying to find a place, actually I've been looking for going on three to four months," said Denise Hall, a dog owner who struggle to find an apartment that would accept her dog.
A search on apartments.com reveals about 62 apartments for rent in Sioux falls, but if you limit that to only apartments that allow dogs, you're options go down to about 15.
"Obviously, those fill up a lot faster because a lot of people have dogs or cats," said Hall.
"We have almost 200 units available and right at this moment we don't have any vacancies," said Rick Gourley, a property manager in Sioux Falls.
Several pet owners commented about their struggle with renting on KSFY's Facebook page:
Tori Lovre commented: "I am searching right now for an apartment that will allow a large dog! I just got my dog back from West Virginia and now am not having any luck finding a place where I would be allowed to keep him with me! It's unfortunate that most housing companies aren't more pet-friendly."
Rachael Toms commented: "This has to be one of the hardest places to find pet friendly living. My family and I lived in Arkansas for 2 years and while we were there we had 3 dogs... Upon moving back to Sioux Falls we had a realllllly hard time finding any place that would take our dogs for a reasonable pet deposit (most places wanted $500 per pet, $1500 total)."
Emily Brown commented: "I'm STILL looking for a place that will let me keep my dogs."
The struggle to find pet-friendly housing is causing a lot of family pets to end up at the Humane Society.
"Usually a good 20 percent, you know almost everyday we're seeing an animal come in due to a move," said Laura Tellberg with the Sioux Falls Humane Society.
It becomes even more of a problem with specific larger breed dogs.
"A lot of places that we do find will allow larger breed dogs like labs or pointers, then we run into the issue, OK, we don't allow things like pit bulls, Rottweiler's, German Sheppard's," said Tellberg.
But the damage some dogs can do to a property is why many landlords don't allow pets at all; those who do usually charge steep pet deposits or monthly pet rent.
Hall finally found a place that will take her and her pit bull Molly, but she is going to pay and extra $100 a month.
"There's always one bad apple that ruins it for everybody and then unfortunately, the rest of us that do take good care of our animals have to pay for that," said Tellberg.
"Some of the worst faults are the owners not picking up the pet waste," said Gourley.
Damage from pets can extend to the grounds, public hallways and individual rental units.
"With carpet, that's the big expense, because it may not be just the carpet, it may have gone through the padding and ruined the padding and then it may have gone into the sub floor and caused the sub floor to be completely saturated," said Gourley.
It's why many owners understand the need for pet deposits and fees.
"That comes with the responsibility of owning the pet and living on your own and having a rental," said Hall.
Cindy Powell left this comment on KSFY's Facebook Page:
"I moved into a house over a year ago. The previous tenants had three very small dogs. All of which covered every carpet in the house with urine. The smell was so bad that all the carpet had to be replaced AFTER the old was removed and the floor painted with Kiltz to get rid of the smell. We thought the stairs would be okay, because what dog actually pees on the stairs???? These dogs did. It was awful…having said that, I will state that I do have two pretty good sized dogs that are trained to go outside. The person who we rented from was nice enough to let us keep our dogs even though he had to go through all that to get us in the house. I can DEFINITELY understand why the big pet deposit."
But in the end, these animal lovers say their dogs are well worth it.
"My animals are pretty much my life; she's gotten me through a lot and I don't see myself in a place without her," said Hall.
Tori Jean Anderson Wels left this comment on KSFY's Facebook Page:
"If I can't have my animals… I search for a place that will let me. My dogs are my fur babies; there's no way I would ever get rid of them. They are more than pets."
If you're struggling to find a pet-friendly rental, the Humane Society encourages everyone to find a family member or friend who can keep your pets while you search or wait for a pet-friendly unit to open up.
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