8 Ways to Score a Pet-Friendly Rental in Chico

Renting with pets is not always easy. Pet owners who need a place to live have many extra considerations to take into account when searching for a rental. Besides the amount of space needed to comfortably house your pets, rental policies vary widely in the type, size and number of pets allowed, if at all.

Unfortunately, previous bad experiences with pet owners have led many landlords to not accept renters with pets. Recognize that it may be futile to try to sell yourself and your pet to a large rental community with a clear no-pets policy. You’re more likely to be successful if you focus on places that allow most pets, allow certain pets (for example, cats or dogs weighing less than 20 pounds), or that don’t say, “Sorry, no pets.” Individual home owners may be easiest to persuade. Ideally, look for a community with appropriate pet-keeping guidelines that specify resident obligations. That’s the kind of place that’s ideal for pet owners because you’ll know that other pet caregivers there also are committed to being responsible residents.

Not sure where to start? Here’s 8 methods that can help you find and secure a pet-friendly rental. Information provided by The Humane Society of The United States.

1. Search early, search often. Because of the extra difficulty in finding pet-friendly rentals, give yourself plenty of time for your search – at least six weeks. Craiglist offers the option of searching for rental listings that indicate whether cats or dogs are accepted. To see a list of pet-friendly housing options in Chico, visit the Resources section of Butte Humane Society’s website at http://www.buttehumane.org.

2. If a rental’s pet policy is not specified, it never hurts to ask. Make your request to the individual or group who ultimately has the authority to grant it. Usually this will be the owner of the house or apartment, but they may delegate the decision to a landlord or resident manager. If you encounter a no-pets policy, ask if it is the result of a negative experience with a previous resident. Since the policy is not likely to change, finding out about their prior experience may show you how to present your own request most effectively to another potential landlord.

3. Gather proof that you’re responsible. The more documentation you can provide to prove  your conscientiousness as a pet owner, the more convincing your appeal will be to your future landlord. This should include:

  • A letter of reference from your current landlord verifying that you are a responsible pet owner.
  • Written proof that your adult dog has completed a training class, or that your puppy is enrolled in one.
  • A letter from your veterinarian stating that you have been diligent in your pet’s medical care. Supply documentation that your pet has been spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies. (Sterilized pets are healthier, calmer, and far less likely to be a nuisance to neighbors.) Most veterinarians routinely fulfill such requests for their clients.

4. Promote yourself. Responsible pet owners make excellent residents – because they must search harder for a place to live, they are more cautious about damages and more likely to stay put. Lower vacancy rates mean lower costs and fewer headaches for landlords and real estate agents. Let prospective landlords know that you understand that living with a pet is a privilege, not a right. Let them know that you share any concerns about cleanliness. Point out that your pet is housetrained or litter-box trained. Emphasize that you always clean up after your dog outdoors and that you always properly dispose of your pet’s waste.

5. Promote your pet. Offer to bring your pet to meet the owner or landlord, or invite them to visit you and your pet in your current home. A clean, well-behaved pet will speak volumes – emphasize that the same pride you take in caring for your pet extends to taking care of your home. Many landlords are concerned about fleas, so be sure to let them know that you maintain an active flea-control program for your pet and home. Make it clear to the landlord or manager that you keep your pets inside and under control at all times and will walk your dog on leash in designated areas only, and that you understand the health and safety benefits of doing so. If you can’t arrange for a meeting, consider making a small scrapbook with photos of your pet sitting nicely in your current home, and/or draw up a résumé for your pet. These unique ideas are guaranteed to make a strong, yet positive, impression.

6. Be willing to pay a little extra. Tell your prospective landlord that you are willing to pay an extra security deposit to cover any property damages your pet might make.

7. Get it all in writing. Once you have been given permission by a landlord to have a pet, be sure to get it in writing by signing a pet addendum to your rental agreement. Comprehensive agreements protect people, property, and the pets themselves. If your lease has a no-pets clause, verbal approval won’t be enough. The no-pets clause should be removed from the lease (or crossed out and initialed) before you sign it. Be sure it has been removed from or crossed out on your landlord’s copy, too. You may be required to pay a pet deposit, some or all of which may be nonrefundable. Be sure to discuss deposits and any monthly pet-related fees in advance, and have these fees put into writing. Request a copy of any house rules pertaining to pets. Let the landlord know that you will follow the rules set for the entire community and respect the concerns of residents who do not own pets.

8. Above all, be honest and follow the rules. Don’t try to sneak your pet in – no matter how sneaky you may be, your landlord WILL find out! And that isn’t good for anyone involved. Even landlords who accept pets may have size, breed or species restrictions, as well as a cap on the number of total pets allowed. Keeping an animal in violation of a community’s rules contributes to the general inclination of landlords not to allow pets. You also may be subject to possible eviction or other legal action, or be forced to give up your pet in order to keep your home.

Do you live in a pet-friendly rental in Chico? Tell us about it in the comments!

– Heather Schoeppach

The Bark ‘n’ Meow: Introducing our hosts

dog mascot

My name is Trooper, the newest member to the Butte Humane Society family. I’ll be representing as the shelter’s mascot. I’m a super-trooper fan of spay & neuter services, so keep your whiskers on high alert for any pets that don’t want to parent a litter of lickers to feed!





Grumpy, black and white cat

Hey there. I’m Grumpy. I’m about 45 years old, but humans like to keep me young by saying I’m 7 years old, according to their math. I came to the shelter as a stray, but frankly, I didn’t care to go home with any adopters because they kept putting their hands all over me like some sort of pet. So the staff here at the shelter decided to hire me to keep an eye on the place and to test new dogs. I don’t take any bark from dogs and I’m not afraid to give them a little whop in the jaw if they try to scare me.  The staff says this way they can see how well a new dog can handle being in a family that has cats. Whatever.


Valerie, grey cat

Hiya. My name is Valerie. My story is similar to Grumpy’s. I’m 45 by my calculations, and wasn’t so happy being around other people and cats all the time, so the staff gave me a home in the warehouse. I’m a good mouser and generally like to be alone, but I have a purrfect appreciation for the occasional visit. If you sit with me and rub my ears, I’ll cuddle into your neck and make biscuits on your shoulder. I have a good life.




small poodle

Awoofa. I’m Boomer. I came to the shelter as a stray back in the mid-1980s, but found a really great family to adopt me. One night, I helped my new family in an emergency and I received a national “Canine Hero of the Year” award for that. I believe my sole purpose in life was to save this loving family because a month after I got the award, I passed on. Now the shelter keeps my memory alive and I’m here to keep saving lives by encouraging adoptions.



by Sarah Brown

97 Adoptions in 12 Hours!

Several volunteers and staff spent many, many hours preparing for the big “Empty the Shelter” event. This 12-hour adoptathon proved to be greatly rewarding for all the hard work the staff has put into getting it together! The shelter was abuzz all week with visitors checking out the pets available for adoption at a remarkably low cost Saturday. 97 adoptions were completed in one day, quite a jump from our average days of 8 adoptions! We were overjoyed to come to a very quiet shelter on Sunday morning. We had wonderful feedback from our adopters about how well the event was organized, and even had 6 more adoptions the next day to bring the weekend’s total to 103 adoptions!

We also received great support from our local TV, radio, and newspaper in spreading the word about this event. Check out this video created by volunteer Sarah Brown, using the radio commercial created by volunteer Matt Brown and the crew at Results Radio.

Empty the Shelter ad


– by Sarah Brown and Heather Schoeppach

BHS Spay & Neuter Clinic celebrates 2000th surgery!

In just nine months, Butte Humane Society’s new Spay & Neuter Clinic has performed more than 2,000 spays and neuters on cats and dogs from their shelter and the general public. Considering the average number of offspring each female dog or cat can produce in a year, that’s approximately 8,000 unwanted animals prevented this year alone. Each surgery helps reduce the number of future homeless animals needing care in Chico’s limited sheltering facilities.

Dr. Rachel Caspary, shelter veterinarian for Butte Humane Society, recently took a moment to reflect after completing her last surgery of the day. “I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to work with the shelter as well as public animals in an effort to reduce pet overpopulation.  It is very fulfilling to have completed 2,000 surgeries, especially knowing we are just getting started!”

Spay and neuter, especially early-age surgery performed before puberty, will help improve long-term health as well as decrease unwanted behaviors – including unplanned breeding. Spay and neuter efforts are especially crucial during spring and summer, when the warm weather spurs mating and the BHS shelter’s animal intake triples to 600+ animals per month.

“Spay and neuter is truly the most effective way to reduce animal suffering and euthanasia of millions of animals in our country and thousands here locally in the North State,” said Kristen Staggs, President of the BHS Board of Directors.

High turnover in residency, inadequate awareness and education, and minimal access to low-cost spay and neuter have led to a higher-than-average number of homeless animals in the Chico area. The BHS shelter takes in 49 animals per every 1000 people in our community, while the national average is 30 animals per 1000 people. The BHS clinic is an immense step in establishing long-lasting solutions to the community’s pet overpopulation problem.

Now, Butte Humane Society can directly help all pet owners by offering affordable spay and neuter as well as low-cost vaccinations and testing. Though BHS does not offer a low-income assistance program, the organization has partnered with two local spay/neuter assistance programs administered by Paws of Chico and PawPrints Thrift Store.

“We are able to provide low cost yet high quality services because we are a not-for-profit organization that receives discounts on certain supplies, and by not offering the full spectrum of veterinary services we are able to keep our overhead minimal. This allows us to pass these savings directly on to the public,” said Karin Williams, BHS Clinic Manager.

A donation of equipment and caging from Midtown Veterinary Clinic in Davis made it possible to increase the number of surgeries that the BHS clinic can perform each day. Appointments can be scheduled immediately, with no more than a few days’ wait for surgery.

Surgeries are performed Monday through Friday, and appointments can be made by calling 343-7917, ext. 2. The Spay & Neuter Clinic is located at 587 Country Drive in Chico. The facility also houses Butte Humane Society’s Cat Adoption Center. Dog adoptions and animal intake are still performed at the main shelter at 2579 Fair St. For clinic pricing information and a full list of services, click here.

Because the BHS clinic is not a full-service veterinary facility, the staff encourages owners to establish long-term relationships with a local veterinarian to provide complete medical care.

Adopt-a-Cat Month

Every year approximately 4 million cats end up at shelters. The spring and summer months thousands of kittens are born. This time of the year is known as “kitten season.”  Shelters from all over the country also get a flood of new homeless cats and newborn kittens. Cats are very different from dogs but also make great pets.

Every June shelters from all over celebrate Adopt-A-Cat Month.  By adopting a cat from a shelter, you’re not only getting a new family member but a whole lot more. All BHS cats go through a behavior test so the people at the shelter can tell you their temperament as well as what type of household they will fit best in. At Butte Humane Society all adoptable cats come with their required vaccinations, a spay or neuter, a free examination by a local veterinarian, a microchip, a carrier, and one month free of ShelterCare insurance.

Shelters like BHS have a wide variety of cats with different colors, ages, and temperaments to choose from. Adopting a cat and kitten from Butte Humane Society starts at $55. Butte Humane Society also has a 2 for 1 adoption special on all cats. For the price of one cat you can save two lives. By adopting two cats from BHS, they can keep each other company, burn off each other’s extra energy, plus we believe that two is always better than one.

During the month of June Butte Humane Society has devoted the entire month to all cats that are up for adoption. BHS also has a variety of adopt-a-thons throughout the summer.


“Make Way for Kittens”- May 27, 28, 29

“Name your own price” on all adult cats one year and older.   Learn about the BHS foster program and senior connections program.  All adult cat adopters will receive a free cupcake thanks to our sponsor, Lovely Layers Cakery.

“Summer Splash” – June 17-19

“Name your own price” on all adult cats one year and older and get a summer goodie bag that includes hot weather tips and activity handouts.

To view the rest of the summer adopt-a-thons click here.

In addition to summer adopt-a-thons, BHS will also have adoption campaigns including Free Cat Fridays where all cats one year and older will be free, and a summer adoption raffle where all adopters will be entered in a raffle for an iPad. Both campaigns are from May 27 through October 31, and the drawing for the raffle will be on November 1.  Visit the Summer Adopt-a-thon page under events on the home page to learn more..

Come to the new Cat Adoption Center located at 587 Country Dr. Chico, Ca, or visit the website at www.buttehumane.org to view available cats and learn more about them.  Adopt a cat today and give them a forever loving home!

-Monica Gunther, Public Relations Intern