Tag Archives: maine

Legislators ponder bill that would let many Maine renters keep pets

Lawmakers are weighing whether to enact a law that would require public housing agencies in Maine to allow tenants to have one or more common household pets.

“We feel this bill will help to ease a significant burden many pet owners are currently facing,” said Katie Lisnik, executive director the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston.

“By increasing the number of rental units that are truly pet-welcoming, we can keep pets in the families where they are loved and cherished, as well as increasing the pool of families able to consider adopting a homeless animal in need,” Lisnik said.

A public hearing on the proposal this week delivered a wide range of opinions for the Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee to consider. The proposal would impact many rental units that receive public funds.

Bruce Merrill of Auburn told the panel the bill “takes away even more rights from property owners” who are “responsible for keeping up with their properties and making sure the tenants live in harmony.”

“There are many reasons certain buildings should not have certain pets,” Merrill said. “Also many reasons certain tenants should not have pets.”

Merrill warned the measure “is a disaster in the making” and would contribute to the collapse of low-income housing availability.

But Robert Fisk Jr., founder and president of Maine Friends of Animals, said the law “should do all we can” to keep people and their pets together.

“Housing, moving and landlord issues are amongst the most commonly cited reasons for pet surrenders,” he said. “This bill helps mitigate it in low-income public housing where tenants love their pets like everyone else does.”

Lisnik said housing restrictions were directly behind about one in five of the animals surrendered to her shelter in the past year and are likely an underlying issue in other cases.

“For example, an animal may be surrendered because of ‘too many pets’ when an owner had to move and couldn’t find housing that would allow their large dog, or three cats,” she said.

“Mainers are a pet-loving people and firmly believe that pets are part of the family,” she said, pointing out that about half of Maine households have at least one cat. Nationally, she said, 75% of renters own pets.

“We feel this bill will help to ease a significant burden many pet owners are currently facing,” she said. “By increasing the number of rental units that are truly pet-welcoming, we can keep pets in the families where they are loved.”

Among those who see problems with the proposed law is Amanda Gilliam, director of property management with Avesta Housing, the largest nonprofit affordable housing provider in northern New England.

Gilliam said the measure would “create additional safety hazards for residents” and “increase operating costs for landlords at a time when there is an extreme shortage of safe, quality, affordable housing across the state of Maine.”

“Increasing costs makes viability a challenge for new and existing affordable housing projects,” she said. “There is a critical need for more affordable housing, and increasing operating costs is not the way to obtain it.”

Jon Ogletree of Belfast, who said he’s managed affordable housing complexes for more than a decade, told legislators that if the bill becomes law “I will go into another line of work.”

He said growing regulation is making it so difficult to manage affordable housing complexes that the entire system will implode if it keeps up.

Cullen Ryan, executive director of Community Housing of Maine, said he appreciates the bill allows landlords to impose pet deposit fees and reasonable rules for pets, but warned lawmakers that approving it will cause a broad array of problems and “have dire, unintended consequences.”

Robin Wells, a real estate attorney in Portland, told the panel it ought to approve the bill.

Wells said it “will further strengthen Maine’s commitment to affordable housing and companion animals, ensuring that all Mainers, including those who have made pets a part of their families, will be able to find appropriate housing for their entire family.”

Source: Sun Journal

William Wegman – The Hardly Boys

Photographer William Wegman is well known for the photos of his Weimaraners.  A show called William Wegman:  Hello Nature at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine which runs until October 21, 2012  shows the side of Wegman that isn’t so focused on his dogs but rather his attachment to Maine.

The exhibit will include an airing of Wegman’s documentary The Hardly Boys, which features his dogs but was also filmed in Maine.  The film is a spoof of the detective novels featuring The Hardy Boys.  Courtesy of YouTube, here’s an excerpt from that documentary (complete with subtitles).

Sea burials for your pet

New England Burials at Sea offers a special service for pet burials at sea along the US coastline from Maine to Miami.

The most common service is for scattering of cremation ash, although the company also offers organic cotton shrouds for full body burials by enquiry.

The company was founded by Brad White, a self-confessed dog lover and owner of Schipperkes who understands that pets are part of the family.

Ceremonies start at $95.0o.  A poem is usually read after the ashes are scattered, followed by flowers or wreaths that are placed on the water.  Owners can email a photo of their pet to Captain Brad before their charter so a photo of their pet is included on the sea burial certificate.   The burial certificate records the date, time, and latitude and longitude (location) where the ashes were scattered.  Many charters are unattended by the pet’s family, but in one case Captain Brad says that over 40 people attended a pet farewell ceremony on his boat.

Read more about the pet burial service here.

A quick Google search shows that there are several other firms offering pet burials at sea.  They are:

San Diego Burial at Sea

Newport Landing Burial at Sea (Los Angeles area)

A Burial at Sea Maritime Funeral Services (Rhode Island)

Amazing Gracie’s Pet Burials at Sea (San Diego area)

The Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Among a growing number of dog-friendly accommodation options in the US, the Inn by the Sea sets itself apart by offering dog-friendly accommodation combined with support of locally made dog products.

When you book their Inncredible Pets package you and your dog receive:

  • a minimum of 2 nights in a single bedroom suite
  • a dog toy that is made in Maine
  • a personalised LL Bean dog bed (these beds are known for their quality and durability and LL Bean is a flagship retailer in Maine)
  • a 30-minute in-room dog massage to help your dog work out the kinks of the trip
  • a nightly entree from the Inn’s pet menu
  • a nightly pet turndown service that rewards you dog with a locally made dog treat

This package currently starts at US$472.21 per night for a garden suite (higher rates for a spa suite or at peak times).

The Inn is located on popular Crescent Beach which does not allow dogs in the summer months of April – October.  Inn staff can advise you on beaches that allow dogs during these times.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand