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Old 09-18-2008, 03:11 PM
488 posts, read 803,445 times
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Due to a new job, I'll be moving to Los Angeles and will need to rent an apartment for a year or so before I buy a house. I have a 75 lb black lab.

The problem is, I can't find an apartment that will allow a dog that size (most pet friendly apts will allow dogs under 20 lbs or so). It probably wouldn't be the best idea to keep her in an apartment anyway.

I really don't want to give up my dog, if I can avoid it, and will absolutely not place her with a rescue org or shelter. Can anyone suggest other alternatives? I have friends and relatives in LA who have offered to take care of her, but I can tell they really don't want to and I don't want to impose.

I was thinking of looking for a nice family with a house and yard that would like to take her for a year, at which time I'd take her back, or maybe a senior citizen living nearby who would like the companionship of a dog and would keep her temporarily. I could stop by a couple of times a week to clean up after her and I'd also pay for all expenses (food, vet, etc). However, it's probably unfair (to both the boarders and the dog) to ask someone to give her back after they've bonded.

Has anyone here been in this situation? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Last edited by mark85; 09-18-2008 at 03:41 PM..
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:25 PM
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I feel for you. But I think that your best bet would be to talk to the lab rescues and surrender your dog. They vet any family applying and would most likely find the best possible home for your girl. I'm so sorry you're in this situation. How about renting a house?
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:34 PM
Location: Twilight Zone
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Check with Lab Rescue folks in So Cal - they just might know of 'big dawg' friendly rentals. The results page for a search of Lab Rescues in So Cal that are affiliated with the National Breed Club is here: The AKC Parent Club of the Labrador Retriever . Rescuers are jazzed when they can help folks KEEP their dogs. Call some Realtors and/or property management companies too - sometimes a larger pet deposit will encourage landlords to waive weight limitations.

Also, Google for something like "Pet friendly rentals, Los Angeles". You'll find links such as: Apartments and Homes for Rent in Los Angeles & Southern California – 4 Rent in LA.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:54 PM
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
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There are a lot of training outfits that will board dogs for extended periods. That could get pricey no matter what you wind up doing, though. I would be much more inclined to kennel the dog than give him away if I knew that I had a firm return date. Totally your call, though and I'm sure you know what the right thing to do is.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:16 PM
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Have you considered renting a duplex or renting from a priviate owner/landlord? Many big apartment complexes and their management often restrict their dog breeds and size (you're lucky if you can find one that accept up to 75lbs) and aren't flexible, but local small landlords may be more negotiable. Start looking through craigslist or local rental postings, or consult a realtor/property manager. I hear nowadays you can hire people to find suitable apartment listings and do all the legwork for you.

Also, this would be a good time to spruce up your doggy "resume". Some landlords may be more amenable to having a large breed on their property if the dog has been certified as well-trained by an outside source (i.e. Canine Good Citizen test). Also, be ready to provide documentation from your previous landlord and/or neighbors stating that your dog is friendly/well-mannered and that you're a responsible dog owner. This may sound like alot, but when you own a large or powerful dog, every bit counts.

I hope you find a happy solution.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:23 PM
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I think the dog would suffer irreparably if you just boarded her for a year.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:37 PM
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We have always been able to find something that would accomate our dogs - may not be where we would have lived without them but it was important to keep us together.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:50 PM
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
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Mark85 -

Have you tried Craigslist for a duplex or something? I'm going to side with everyone else - I think it would be terribly hard on your dog, and terribly hard on another family unless they are involved in rescue and are used to being long term fosters. I'd concentrate more on the paper and private rentals rather than apartments. You may be surprised. Rescues usually don't have enough fosters anyway, much less taking in a part-timer. If they use up a foster home to house your dog, then another dog can't be saved...ya know?

We moved to the Caribbean 3 years ago - and animals are just animals there - and took SIX dogs with us. Little did we realize how hard it would be to find a pet friendly rental, but we started looking from stateside. I made a few calls and was just getting a clue that this could be tough when fate stepped in...a man that had a condo said his secretary had just started renting a house out and she had lots of dogs...and yes, we found someone to allow us 5 Rottweilers and a mutt over the phone! You'd have to have lived there to understand, but it was about the closest thing to a miracle there could have been.

But I digress...yes, I think you should make every effort to keep your pet with you. Your family may grudgingly care for the dog, but you will be lonely, the dog will be confused, and it could be a very long year for you both. Beat the bushes and follow every lead. Moving into an apartment and letting this fall to someone else is the easiest, but not really the best, answer here...and good luck to you.

I think you would find the cost of boarding almost prohibitive.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I agree that boarding isn't an option.

Yes, I've been looking at apartments in smaller buildings and duplexes being managed by landlords and haven't yet found anything good. But even if I found an apartment that would allow a dog her size, I think she'd be miserable couped up all day, even if she is taken for a walk in the evening. Do you guys agree? What would be better for a dog, living in an apartment with her original owner who will be gone all day, or staying with a new owner that has a yard and perhaps more time during the day to walk and play with her?

I've also been looking at houses, but this would cost almost double what an apartment would cost. I'm going to focus my search on neighborhoods that are a bit on the outskirts but still fairly convenient to town. Hopefully I'll be able to find a duplex with a yard or even a small house that's reasonable.

I've been in contact with a few lab rescues and, though it would be a last resort, the people running them sound very responsible and I'm comfortable that they'd be able to find a great home for her.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:51 PM
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Would hiring a dog walker to let your dog out every day be a possibility? If that's a financially feasible, then an apartment/condo/small home life may not be so bad, even for an active lab.

Last edited by vemureaux; 09-18-2008 at 07:01 PM..
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