I was listening to an item on radio 4 last night about the aftermath of the devastating floods in York. The reporter was visiting roads that had been flooded and speaking to the remaining residents.
It must always be difficult finding alternative accommodation at short notice in such circumstances; many people had found rented premises. However, one man was remaining in unsuitable conditions after his house had been flooded up the skirting boards because he could not find a landlord that would accept his dogs.
This is a disgraceful situation. No doubt there would be an outcry if landlords en masse refused to accept children because they are noisy, may draw on the walls or play ball games and annoy the neighbours. More than a quarter of the popoulation of the UK own dogs: now we might not be the most houseproud of people but our dogs are by and large perfectly capable of living civilised lives alongside humans when trained well.
We must continue to campaign for fair access for dog owners to all appropriate areas of society, including housing. Owners must take responsiblity for their dog’s behaviour and take the consequences if their dog does cause damage. However, the default position should not be one of prejudice against dogs because of the behaviour of a minority.