Can I bring my pet to Venice and Sarasota
Not everybody has a horse as a pet, right? However, if you do have a horse, don’t worry, we’ll find a place for your baby, too! There are “very” pet-friendly communities where you can bring “your furry friend” with you. Unfortunately, there are also many communities where you can’t bring your dog.
No exotic pets, please
In our case, when talking about “pet-friendly communities,” the emphasis lies on “small pets” …dogs and cats. If you want to bring your pet rattler or bird spider, you are moving into a different territory which is not subject to this article.
Most deed restricted communities are not too excited about your exotic roomers. Too many python owners released their “pets” in South Florida. Their caretakers simply could not handle them anymore. Or the meal for their 20-foot reptile baby became too expensive. Unfortunately, those snakes do not behave very well or let’s better say “they do behave like pythons” are supposed to dodo.
And nobody wants to wake up looking into the beautiful eight blue eyes of the neighbor’s bird spider because he forgot to close the terrarium lid. So, all those animals are out of the question when you want to live in a deed restricted community. And that is okay and enough about that.
So, this chapter is not about snakes or other exotic critters; it is about a more common species – cats and dogs.
Only Cats and Dogs are considered Pets
Now, let’s have a closer look at those more “common” pets – cats and dogs. As long as your “lounge leopard” stays inside, very few communities have objections. Some may restrict the number of kittens to two; some communities don’t care at all about the number of house cats you have.
But some communities are very strict: 1 cat or one dog and that is it. Period! Well, when you keep your cats inside nobody will notice you may think. They do not bark, and they do not interfere with the neighbor’s lawn. But that is a decision every pet owner has to make for himself. An “undercover cat” may be an option, but if caught in action the cat has to go. If it says so in the Rules and Regulations, the Homeowners Association can and will demand that you remove the animal. Some people sell their home and go someplace else. It may be another option.
Not all Dogs are considered equal
Some “pet – unfriendly” communities don’t like dogs at all. They strictly prohibit all dogs, no matter what size, breed or weight. Can they do that? Yes, they can. If it the “Rules and Regulations” state that there is no room for negotiations about the pet at all, there is no room. Florida law says that the landlord (or association) can decide if he (it) wants to accept a pet or if not. That is not even discrimination. You can look for another community if you don’t like that.
However, those very strict communities are more or less an exception. Many communities limit the number of dogs to two animals; some communities impose weight restrictions. 20 or 35 lbs is a typical threshold for a dog. Pet-friendly communities that are allowing dogs up to 100 lbs in weight are rarer, over 100 lbs are very rare.
The breed is always of concern:
Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Bulldogs have a hard time finding a home. Most likely, they need to find a home outside of a Deed Restricted community. They are considered “killer machines” – wiping out every neighbor’s life within the range of 5 miles leaving only a trail of blood. Well, we don’t want to dig any deeper into that matter. It seems to be a mess with those dogs. Plain horror.
Is that true? Yes? NO? We don’t know. However, if it says so in the “rules” – a “rule” is a RULE. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. If the rules exclude those breeds, there is absolutely no chance to get them in.
The Number of Dogs is also Important
Very few deed restricted and pet-friendly communities allow more than two dogs or an unlimited number of dogs. It doesn’t matter if you dogs do not fall into the breed or size/weight restrictions. If you show up with a whole wolf pack, be prepared that it will not be an easy task to find an adequate home for all of you guys. There is help out there, but it will not be easy.
Renting with animals – what a pain
If you want to rent a place with your pets, you will have a hard time finding a home at all. Many communities discriminate between homeowners and renters with pets. Homeowners can have pets; tenants can not have pets, even if the landlord would permit it. It doesn’t matter if your dog is big, small, light or heavy. Or sometimes it says “no dog (or pet) at all. Is that mean? Sort of, but in many “rules and regulations” that is like carved in stone and Florida Law even supports it. As has been mentioned, Homeowners Associations are powerful in Florida. Therefore, the money you are spending for an attorney in such a case is probably useless.
A “Service Dog” is not a Pet
Are you disabled and your dog is a “service dog”? That might be a different story. According to the Fair Housing Act both of you may be entitled to move in, but keep in mind that we are no lawyers. We are not able to give you any legal advice. Please ask your attorney if a community or landlord who doesn’t want to accept your application as buyer or tenant can reject your service dog or not. Read our blog about “pet-friendly communities.” Although we can’t give you any legal advice, we can make you a little bit more aware of certain things. Does that sound like a plan?