Pet Ownership


Responsible pet owners and their pets can contribute greatly to a community.

Most owners derive significant benefits from their pets such as companionship, routine, exercise and even lower stress levels; therefore we will not discourage pets in properties where facilities for their proper care exist. Residents who have a licence agreement and or live in scheme based supported accommodation will not be permitted to own a pet.

We will take a flexible view on allowing pets; depending on individual circumstances, whilst controlling the numbers and species of pets so as not to cause a nuisance or health risk. Decisions on allowing pets will be at the discretion of the local Neighbourhood Housing Officer.

The responsibility for pets rests with the Resident. Residents must make suitable care and veterinary arrangements, ensure that the pet does not cause injury or damage and comply with any legal requirements.


Restrictions on Pet Ownership


There are certain breeds of dogs, specified in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 that will not be permitted.

These are specified as Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Braziliero and Japanese Tosa.

Any Resident found to be keeping dogs which are not permitted will be reported to the relevant authorities and will be in breach of their tenancy.

It is important to note that, in the UK, dangerous dogs are classified by 'type', not by breed label. This means that whether a dog is considered dangerous, and therefore prohibited, will depend on a judgment about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited 'type'. This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court.


We will not allow the breeding or selling of animals from a residents home.

Residents will not be permitted to keep farm animals; for example sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, horses.

Residents may be permitted to keep chickens or ducks depending on the location of their property and the size of their garden.

Residents will not be permitted to keep wild animals, poisonous animals or endangered species.


Applying to own a Pet

Some homes are not suitable for keeping pets. Anyone considering moving into these homes will be advised before any offer of accommodation is made.

Any new applicants for housing will be asked about any pets they own. Existing residents are required to inform us if they wish to get a new pet.

Residents who wish to keep a pet will be expected to sign and accept the Conditions of Pet Ownership.

We will treat guide dogs, hearing dogs and enabling dogs as special cases as such animals are essential for the quality of life of their owners.

When granting permission for pets, consideration will be given to the number and type of existing animals at a particular scheme or home.


Keeping pets in your Home

Although pets can be loving companions, some animals can cause a nuisance.

Often it is the lack of care by the Resident that can create the nuisance.

Residents can ensure their animal does not cause nuisance by, for example, making sure they:

  • keep dogs, and any other pet they may wish to take for a walk, on a lead whilst on the association’s communal property 
  • remove any animal fouling from gardens and public areas and dispose of it appropriately 
  • Make sure their dog does not bark excessively 
  • do not attract other animals and vermin by leaving food outside 
  • do not allow their animal to become aggressive 
  • do not breed and/or sell any animals 

If a pet does cause a nuisance permission may be withdrawn for the Resident to keep a pet, or the association may involve statutory agencies and/or take legal action.


What can we do about nuisance pets?

In the majority of cases we will try to resolve any issues of nuisance involving pets informally after hearing both sides of the story.  If this does not work, then there are a number of more formal approaches we can take. These include:

Involving statutory organisations such as the Police or the Local Authority Environmental Health Department 

Involving voluntary organisations such as the RSPCA 

Restricting the number of animals kept at a property, if this is likely to resolve the problem 

Withdrawing permission for animals completely 

Taking legal action against the resident for breach of their tenancy 


What to do if you suspect an animal is being neglected

If you suspect that a neighbour is guilty of cruelty or neglect towards an animal then you should report this to the RSPCA. You should telephone the 24 hour National Cruelty Line on 0300 1234 999. The RSPCA will ask you a series of questions and it promises to keep your details confidential.


Useful Contacts


The RSPCA is a charity which investigates complaints of animal cruelty and neglect. It runs animal hospitals and clinics for low income households and centres which house animals looking for new homes.

Advice Line: 0300 1234 555

Website: rspca.org.uk


Dogs Trust

The Dogs Trust is a dog welfare charity providing advice on all aspects of dog ownership. It subsidises neutering and provides free micro-chipping in certain areas.

Telephone: 020 7837 0006

Website: dogstrust.org.uk


Cats Protection

Cats Protection is a charity which provides advice on cat care, runs a rescue service and a service to find new homes for cats. It may provide financial assistance with neutering cats.

Telephone: 03000 121212

Website: cats.org.uk



The PDSA is a charity providing veterinary care for sick animals owned by low income households.

Telephone: 0800 731 2502

Website: pdsa.org.uk


Blue Cross

The Blue Cross provides subsidised neutering services for people in receipt of certain state benefits.

Telephone: 01993 822651

Website: bluecross.org.uk


Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

The RCVS holds a list of all registered veterinary surgeons. This can be found on their website.

Telephone 020 7222 2001

Website: rcvs.org.uk


Any UK Vet

A website which provides details of all veterinary practices in the UK.

Website: any-uk-vet.co.uk


  • Spectrum House, Grange Road,
    Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 4GE
  • 0300 777 7837
  • contact@sovereign.org.uk
Great homes • Strong communites • Residents at the Heart