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I am trying to find some type of rental housing that will accept my dog. I am not having much luck. Is there anything I can do? I do not want to give up my pet.

There is a serious shortage of rental housing available in city areas. Since some landlords automatically exclude potential tenants who have dogs or cats, pet owners feel the pinch more acutely than others. You needn't give up hope or your pet. These tips can help you convince your potential landlord that you're a responsible pet owner:1. Provide letters of reference from a previous landlord attesting to your pet's and your own conscientiousness.

2. Invite the landlord to "interview" your pet. One meeting with your well-behaved pet should remove all doubts about your pet's temperament and behavior.

3. Responsible pet owners take good care of their pet's health. Offer copies of health certificates showing that your pet's inoculations are up to date.

4. Ask your veterinarian to serve as a reference for you and your pet. If you've taken your dog to obedience school (you should), the trainer can serve as a reference too. Give the landlord names, telephone numbers and addresses.

5. If your pet is spayed or neutered, tell the landlord. An altered pet is more docile and less likely to create a nuisance than one that isn't.

6. If your cat has been declawed, say so.

7. Show the landlord that you've been responsible by keeping your dog currently licensed or if you have a cat, show that it wears an I.D. tag and a rabies tag.

8. Let the landlord know that you share his concern with cleanliness. Point out that your pet is housebroken or litter-trained.

9. Do you own an older pet? Tell the landlord so and point out that an older pet sleeps a great deal and needs relatively little exercise.

10 Offer to pay a refundable pet security deposit. An amount equal to half a month's rent is fair.

If you have a question about health, behavior problems, laws, etc., regarding wild or domestic animals, please write Leslie Kelson-Probert, Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 W. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84123, or call her at 264-2247.