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Old 04-10-2009, 09:09 PM
 
14 posts, read 41,979 times
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I've posted before about finding pet friendly housing in IC; I have one lead thankfully (albeit at the tippy-top end of my price range). And I saw a similar lament about Dubuque, reinforcing that IC's attitude is not an isolated one. However, I still don't understand the rationale behind such decidedly anti-pet, especially anti-dog, sentiments. I understand that animals can do damage at times if their owners are irresponsible. But as I'm sure we all know, a well-trained animal given proper exercise is not a risk (especially not when compared to 18 year old partiers!). I'm wondering if this is some sort of rural thinking that's crept into non-rural areas--some notion that animals are best kept outdoors. Still, when I lived in Lawrence, Kansas, finding an apartment to take my dog was almost as easy as it was in KCMO; and Austin, Texas, my current home, is a dog-lovers mecca. My complex keeps biscuits at the front door for visitors. We even have a dog park on the premises (this is NOT a luxury complex). Not every place takes them, but most do. What is the deal?

What is the culture of pet owners in IC? Do people take their pets out a lot? I mean to outdoor coffee shops, patio restaurants, festivals, etc... Is IC not at progressive in the dog department as they are otherwise?

I never thought having a dog would be such an impediment to housing. I really do hope someone can explain this situation to me. I'm baffled and saddened.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Iowa
2,938 posts, read 3,229,534 times
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Irresponsible dog owners come a dime a dozen. Let me guess at how many appartments had $2000 worth of carpet ruined in 2 weeks by a dog, especially a big one with unclipped claws anchored into a set of big muddy paws. They can scratch up a hardwood floor pretty fast too. It's absurd to believe that any dog owner is always going to be home watching the dog, so the dog is probably going to go #1 and #2 several times on the floor eventually, or on the sidewalk or lawn nearby without being picked up by the owner. I would never buy a condo or rent an appartment if they allowed dogs in the building.

About the noise, there are some of us that don't need that 3AM wake up bark because the dog on the other side of the wall heard a mouse fart. Or worse, the dog that just keeps yapping all the time when it's owner takes off for work at 5AM. Even a small dog can have a very loud bark. Then alot of times a dog owner gets the brilliant idea of chaining their dog outside for hours on end, for the listening pleasure of the neighborhood. This solution seems to work great for the dog owner. Usually when you talk nice to the owner about the noise four or five times in a row and call the cops on them twice or so, it starts to soak in that they might be disturbing some other humans of no consequence that live in the neighborhood with them. Neighbors that despise the arf-invasion pouring into their home even with the windows shut on days they would like to leave the windows open.........slowly breaking the tortured souls down into a son of sam induced mental breakdown.

Many a dog owners idea of "responsible" falls way short of what a non dog owner's idea of responsible is. If fact, I have known many dog owners that get sadistic pleasure from using their dog to tick off the neighbors.

I like cats.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:34 AM
 
120 posts, read 277,702 times
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Default Responsible pet ownership

is unfortunately a "flexible" definition.... Consider the shocking statistic that 90% of the dogs that given up to shelters are surrendered because of behavioral reasons, e.g. the dog is a year + old and not yet house-trained, or barks too much, or has too much energy.... These are all issues that can be easily resolved through by going to a good obedience class and/or exercise, but it is easier for the owner to give the dog up than to commit to helping their dog become a good citizen. I suspect that "if" you were to ask those who surrendered their dogs if they were a responsible dog owner they would reply "yes".

The scenarios outlined by Mofford are compounded by the fact that IC is a student oriented community, which by definition, consists of individuals who are not quite as committed or mature in their actions as they will hopefully be later in their lives. Consider how that might translate into their interactions with their dogs.

Responsible dog ownership "should" include obedience training and attention to the dog's intellectual and physical needs in order to assist them in becoming good companions in a human-based community. Unfortunately though I agree with Mofford's synopsis of the situation, and again, I suspect that if you asked the people in those scenarios if they believed they were responsible dog owners, they would say "yes" and would resist any suggestion to the contrary.

I rented out part of my home to a good friend several years ago. She had two very well-mannered dogs and she WAS absolutely a great and responsible dog owner, but her dogs still did damage that required replacing the carpet when she moved out. Dogs do a certain amount of damage to their surroundings, even if only from toe nails on hardwood floors. Not many landlords are willing to risk even that much damage.

I myself have two dogs with whom I have done extensive obedience training, they get exercised daily, and have plenty of play time. However, I realize that my personal definition of being a good dog owner is mine alone. In reality, too many people do feel that they are responsible if they take their dog outside once a day, that their dog doesn't 'really' need walking every day, and that barking is just a dog being a dog. People are busy and too often do not wish to make the time commitment their dog needs to be happy and well-adjusted.

My suggestions would include meeting the landlord before you mention that you have a dog. Impress them with your credentials and demeanor before you tell them. Offer a security deposit against damage. Finally, look for a place that is outside the student-y area around downtown. In IC, Heritage Management rents to people with dogs. Good luck finding a place.

Last edited by swlmc2; 04-11-2009 at 07:07 AM..
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 1,983,467 times
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Have you tried looking away from the campus a little futher? I realize this goes against many of the reasons for wanting to live next in Iowa City as a student, grad or otherwise. Perhaps there is a townhome for rent in Coralville or a house for rent in South Iowa City away from all the commotion that allows your pooch.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,807,937 times
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Quote:
What is the culture of pet owners in IC? Do people take their pets out a lot? I mean to outdoor coffee shops, patio restaurants, festivals, etc... Is IC not at progressive in the dog department as they are otherwise?
Iowa in general seems to have a much clearer view than other parts of the country of what are "dog things" and what are "people things". I personally, have never really understood why people would take their dogs to a lot of those places. Like, what is your dog going to get out of going to the Arts Festival?

As far as I've noticed, most people in Iowa will walk their dogs, take them to the park, take them to the pool on dog day, let them run at the dog park, but not really take them to festivals or restaurants.

I wouldn't say Iowa is anti-dog....just that we have more common sense.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,122,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipermackie View Post
What is the culture of pet owners in IC? Do people take their pets out a lot? I mean to outdoor coffee shops, patio restaurants, festivals, etc... Is IC not at progressive in the dog department as they are otherwise?
I agree with SharpHawkeye's comment above. I see people walking their dogs often around the Ped Mall or just around town, but I don't see them as often at events or restaurants. A big reason for this is we don't have any outdoor coffee shops (that I can think of anyway) and few patio restaurants, just because they can really only be used in summer. It's not nice here year-round like it is in Austin. So taking a dog to a restaurant would be kind of a no-no around here because it's probably going to be indoors.

There is a pretty vocal group of dog owners around here that you might want to get acquainted with, their website is here: JC DogPAC - Bark for a Park! (http://www.jcdogpac.org/index.shtml - broken link)
They opened a dog park in Iowa City, on the end of Foster Rd. by the river. This park is also easily accessible from Coralville using the pedestrian bridge at 1st Ave & 5th St. I agree with others that living farther from campus is going to increase the likelihood of finding a dog-friendly rental, although I am aware that this is not too desirable as a student.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:55 PM
 
14 posts, read 41,979 times
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"What is your dog going to get out of going to the Arts Festival?"

Well, a properly trained, properly socialized dog should be placed in circumstances wherein he/she must remain calm and obedient and learn to interact with people of all ages, energy levels, and numbers. Dogs should not be phased by throngs of people and screaming children and loud noises. The problem is when dogs are not trained and are kept in backyards and can't function in public due to stress from too much stimuli. Taking your dog to "people" places and events is not simply an Austin thing (although it is unbelievably prevalent down here). When I lived in Lawrence and a coffee shop set out summer patio furniture, people brought their dogs. The same was true in KC (especially Westport/Crossroads/Midtown). And yes, puppies go with their owners to outdoor art festivals there too.

As I said, I understand that dogs can do damage, but my lord, children do too (surprise murals drawn on the walls and floors in permanent marker, kool-aid stains on carpets, etc...). The same goes for noise--yappy dog, screaming baby = the same raw nerves for the listener. I prefer to steer clear of both myself. In my current complex, half the tenants have dogs of all sizes and breeds, and there is zero nuisance barking because we all know that with multiple complaints we will be evicted. The point I still don't understand is why, in other locales, renters are willing (with adequate deposit and pet rent) to take pet risks and seem pleased to work with owners, yet IC doesn't. If your renter puts down a non-refundable $400 pet deposit and pays $20 a month pet rent, even if the carpet has to be replaced, the renter has paid for it. If I sign a contract that states that if my dog is a nuisance barker, I can and will be required to leave, where is the concern? Perhaps the problem is a disproportionate number of lax owners who believe a dog's place is solely in the backyard where they can just be dogs and do doggie things and when those dogs end up in apartments all hell breaks loose.


Thanks for the info on the org. and the park, Iowegian.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:42 AM
 
120 posts, read 277,702 times
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Quote Pipermackie: "a properly trained, properly socialized dog should be placed in circumstances wherein he/she must remain calm and obedient and learn to interact with people of all ages, energy levels, and numbers. Dogs should not be phased by throngs of people and screaming children and loud noises."

Yes, ideally, BUT the problem is that most dogs are NOT properly trained or socialized.... Nor are most dogs owners properly attentive to their dog's needs while out walking. There are those, myself included, who would argue that part of being a responsible dog owner includes not placing your dog in situations that might endanger him. This has less to do with the stability of the individual dog and more to do with the owner's inability to control all the possible situations that may arise. Even the best natured, most stable dogs have their limits, and I would question whether it is right for an owner to place their dog in such situations that would test those limits.

Most of the dogs that I have seen at fairs and festivals look just plain unhappy, e.g. hot, thirsty, or are exhibiting stress behaviors. All of which the owner is generally oblivious to, being too busy yacking on cell phone, to friends, or looking at merchandise, etc to pay attention to their dog.

My two dogs are very stable and well-socialized, but I would never ever subject them to a street fair, outdoor market, or other such event for multiple reasons.

For my part, I feel it is my responsibility as a good dog companion not to place my dogs in situations that may threaten their well-being. For instance, until such time that parents teach their children the correct way to approach a dog (any dog, not just an unfamiliar one) or until such time that I "KNOW" that the other dogs around are also well-trained and socialized and that their owners are paying attention to their dogs, I will not expose my dogs to busy, chaotic, noisy situations that may overload their senses and place them in stressful or dangerous situations.

It only takes a split second for another overly stressed dog to snap at my dog; it takes a split second for a child to run up to my dog screaming at the top of their lungs to give my dog a hug, NOT the correct way to approach a strange dog, HAS happened on numerous occasions, and I ALWAYS have to intervene to protect my dog.

JMHO.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:07 AM
 
120 posts, read 277,702 times
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Default an addendum

Some of the issues you mention "may" be specific to IC relative to its student population. As we have mentioned, you may have better luck finding an apt if you look outside of the downtown/student area and maybe look for a private individual to rent from.

It is not my intention here to be confrontational, and please forgive me if my writing comes out sounding that way, but consider the following points:

1) It costs waaay more than $400 to replace carpeting/padding, not to mention the time involved. Iowa City is one of the few towns that has fairly rigid move-in/out policies for their apartments, so the amount of time involved in replacing that carpeting is another factor for the landlord to consider.

2)Your point regarding the damage caused by children and under-grads is taken, but the fact remains that landlords view dogs as an "avoidable" risk, but I don't think, and I could be wrong here, that a landlord can refuse to rent to a potential tenant b/c they have children... Nevertheless, children are considered differently than dogs, even though dogs are indeed often better behaved and cause less damage

3) Clauses in leases re barking and other issues are wonderful, BUT it is never easy to evict a tenant: there is the potential for loss of income while eviction proceeds, an often extensive lengthy process to be followed, and extensive damage often ensues that exceeds any deposit put down.

Again, I would like to reiterate that I am a dog-owner, but am simply positing some scenarios in response to your questions/comments. I do apologize if I sound confrontational, it is not my intention. I do understand your frustration with this situation, and good for you for persisting in looking for a home that will allow your pet
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:33 AM
 
11,289 posts, read 23,016,915 times
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Iowa City is more anti-pets in the apartments because a majority of them are transient students, who tend to care less about their pets making messes than people who are older/more mature and are just living their lives in nice apartments.

If a dog peed on a students floor he's sharing with 3 friends for a year, who cares.
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