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Old 04-30-04, 12:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Boardwalk properties banning reptiles

Well, I'm looking around for a new place since the house is getting a bit too expensive. I decided to look into some Boardwalk properties, since I have rented from them before, and they do have some very nice places around Calgary.

Well, being the honest individual that I am, I asked if reptiles were allowed, since cats and dogs, and birds were allowed, only to find out that they have a ban on reptiles in their properties.

Well, disgusted with this, I decided to write to their head office. The repsonse I got made me so mad I was seeing red.

Here's my letter:

I don't know what this is worth, but I would like to inform you of my disgust for your prejudicial pet policy.

I am a responsible tenant, and a former renter of a boardwalk property in Alberta. Since moving out, I have acquired quite a few of my absolute favorite animals; reptiles. I am dissatisfied with my current living situation, and I wanted to move back into a Boardwalk property, since I was always satisfied with my treatment despite the fact that I had to break my lease 1 month early in order to move on an opportunity for a house. I have since found out that Boardwalk will not allow reptiles, and I cannot think of one reason other than prejudice that would lead to this policy.

FACT: Reptiles are much quieter than dogs, cats, or birds.
FACT: Reptiles are completely non-allergenic.
FACT: Dogs are responsible for literally thousands of human injuries per year.
FACT: Not one reptile-related injury has been reported in Canada for over 5 years.
FACT: Responsible owners such as myself ensure that the enclosures the reptiles are kept in are 100% escape proof.
FACT: Clean reptile cages have no smell whatsoever, whereas cat litter boxes can leave smells lingering for weeks, and in some cases, cat musk has been known to stink up carpets so badly that they need to be replaced. Reptiles are utterly incapable of this.
FACT: Reptiles are no louder than fish.

In light of the facts above, there is not one good reason to ban legal reptiles from your properties if such animals as cats and dogs are allowed.

This comes as a huge disappointment to me, since I was planning to rent a Boardwalk property long-term. Though I know that this means nothing to a large rental company, since you WILL find a tenant to occupy the space that I would have otherwise occupied, I have every intention of making your prejudicial anti-reptile policy very well known to the reptile community, and to various Consumer Advocacy groups, which may take exception to the allowance of pets that are known and proven nuisances, and the banning of pets based on fear, prejudice, or simply unfounded principles.

If I am mistaken about this, and the reptile policy is NOT handed down from Boardwalk's head office, then please email the CSR at Oak Hill Estates in Calgary and inform her that the bad publicity of discriminating against someone's pets while allowing other pets is NOT good for business. If this is a Boardwalk policy, please explain to me the reasons behind it so that I don't go to the media, Consumer Advocacy groups, and reptile community (which is much larger than you think) with misappropriated information.

Thank you in advance for your time and serious attention to this discriminatory matter.

Sincerely,

Ken LePage


Well, here's the response I got:

Good morning,

Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention.

As a Landlord we do have the right to pick and choose, which pets we wish to permit, in our buildings. Some people are fearful of these types of pets so in order to prevent chaos we do not allow exotic pets or reptiles in our buildings. If we permit your reptiles then we have to make allowances for other customers that wish to house reptiles. We have set guidelines and we will adhere to them.

We are sorry that we were unable to accommodate you. We do hope that you will find suitable accommodations.

Sincerely,
Customer Service
Boardwalk Rental Communities


In order to prevent CHAOS????? Excuse me?????

For starters, I don't invite all of my neighbors in to see my collection. I'm smarter than that.

Even when moving in, they would be in snake bags. Nobody would see them.

Here's the other kicker .... they do allow birds. Are birds not an exotic pet? Are there not people out there who are afraid of dogs?

Now, I do realize that it IS their right to decide which pets to allow.... but obviously they are picking and choosing based on unfounded and discriminatory policies.

If anyone here would like to write to Boardwalk to express your own views, their address is service@bwalk.com . Please keep it professional if you do, we don't want the herp community being perceived wrong.

I'm calling Housing & Consumer affairs to lodge an official complaint, which there will be nothing done about, but ya know what? Nobody ever got anything changed by being silent, either. We need to all work together to help stp the discrimination against reptiles, because this is how they get banned to begin with - discrimination.

Just thoguht I'd share my rant.

Ken
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Old 04-30-04, 12:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I agree to some extent. But in reality, you already answered yourself. They are a private company and can choose which animals to allow in their buildings.

Frankly allowing many tenants to own reptiles IS creating chaos because of so many "whoops my snake escaped" people. Until reptile keepers in general get more government support, and stop these stupid mistakes (lose animals, disgusting conditions, taking giant snakes outside for everyone to see and keeping collections of 500+ animals when they shouldnt be, raising their own feeders which STINKS! etc etc) then we can't expect a private company to give a crap. And like you said, they don't have too. They might not like the color green and because of that ban them. That's their choice though.

Good luck house hunting though. I'd try and buy. :P

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Old 04-30-04, 12:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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SOOOOOOOOOOOO BS. Once again its someone just playing the role of what i say goes. That really sucks Ken that you cant move into a new place, which you want, because they think it will create CHAOS. I dont get how it creates chaos that you have reptiles. Its not like they are going out on other peoples lawns and doing there business. They arent allowed to roam free so whats the big deal. Good luck in finding a new place man.
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Old 04-30-04, 12:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well said Ken.. I'd love to know what BREEDS of dogs they allow.. I personally have nothing against APBTs, Rotties, etc breeds but tons of people have fears of them, and have caused them to be banned in other places. This is clearly discrimination towards our community. Birds are more of a noise issue than any reptile I know.. (well maybe a pissed off Tokay Gecko is louder, but..) What about the health hazards to the tenants that are allergic to dogs and cats, and the 'non exotic' pets others have.

*sigh*
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Old 04-30-04, 12:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My fiancee used to work at boardwalk and as far as I remember they only allowed small breed dogs, and cats. They do not let you keep big breed dogs. Al least not in the apartment complexes. This could be different in the townhouses. As far as I believe this type of rule is becuase of the inexperienced herp keepers that have animals escape.

It is their property and as such they will set the rules. I am glad I am not a renter any more because of this.Definitely not a bad idea to voice your opinion, but due to the fact that reptiles keepers are a minority compared to cat / dog /non pet people, it would be pretty hard to sway their decision about reptiles.

Greg West

My fiancee ran into a lot of renters with reptiles but never mentioned any problems about them having them. I think if you had to move in, don't let them know, but you are running the risk down the road if they find out. Private renters are much easier to deal with but then you basically eliminate all apartments.
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Old 04-30-04, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i know none of us are rich enough but couldnt you try to find a lawyer that would work cheap enough to fight this , this is a discrimination case and discrimination is illegal

i wish i could win a huge lottery jackpot so i could do the good fight for all of us
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Old 04-30-04, 01:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ken I'll state the obvious. It's impossible to win an argument with an ignorant person. Whether their ignorance is due to lack of knowledge or understanding or they are informed & are ignorant just because they personally dislike them & think that everyone else in the whole world should live by their standards. Sad anyhow. What about the places that won't even let you live there with kids? The fight is a good one, but we may just be bashing our heads. We are headbangers though now aren't we LOL Mark
P.S. keep up the good work looks like we need to work on both housing & health authorities, DOH!
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Old 04-30-04, 01:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't really see how a private company not allowing exotic snakes into their building is "discrimination"

Can no one else see why they made this rule? Not for us responsible keepers, but to prevent problems caused by irresponsible people who allow these snakes to escape, smell and god knows what else.

They do not allow me to keep farm animals in my area as it is not zoned for farming. But if I breed exotic chickens as a hobby, would my neighborhood be discriminating against me since I can't keep them here? No, its called find a farm zoned place to live or don't keep chickens.

I am agreeing that reptile hobby is generally treated like crap. But I certaintly do not think a private company choosing to avoid the problems that can most certaintly come with reptile owners is discrimination. Just MHO. Sometimes I feel some of the hobbys problems are created by us keepers ignoring the truth of the situation....reptiles are not the perfect pet. Things happen, accidents happen and dumb people buy them and do stupid things. Ignoring the problems they can bring won't help us as much as being silent wont help either.

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Old 04-30-04, 01:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, we're going to have fun with those health authorities.

I'm not looking to sue them because they are not doing anything illegal. It would be a different story if they said "no pets allowed", just as if they say "no children allowed." But what if they said only female children allowed, or only white children allowed, or only Asian children allowed? There would be an OUTRAGE! This is my point - if you're going to allow pets, allow pets. If you're going to allow only caged pets or only *quiet* pets, fine. But allowing known loud pets like birds and dogs, and allergenic pets like cats, and not allowing reptiles shows the utter ignorance and stupidity that is pervading this country.

Maybe if enough people write to them though, they will change their mind. And if they don't, oh well. I'll find someone else to give my money to.
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Old 04-30-04, 01:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Marisa, there are literally thousands more problems with irresponsible dog owners than reptile owners. If they were looking only at facts and statistics, they would be more like my current landlord who, when I signed the lease, said no pets because of the allergens they carry, the nuisance that they can become in the neighborhood, etc. When I asked if I could have snakes, he said "Yeah, those will be ok, as long as you dont' let let them roam around the house unattended."

Now THAT is the difference between fact and discrimination.
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Old 04-30-04, 01:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have lived in my duplex with at times upto 300+ snakes. Most of my neighbours etc. except for my friends don't even know they exist & those that do only because I tell them. Animal control comes around all the time to deal with dogs & cats either because they are attacking people (dogs) or killing things (cats) or just being a general problem. My snakes have never caused any traffic accidents by running across the road in front of a vehicle either. There are also problems with the Cats spraying, pooping in flowerbeds & gardens, fighting/breeding at night (real pleasant in the summer) & digging threw the trash cans etc. etc. etc. They (dogs & cats) are known to literally destroy carpets, lawns etc. ask any landlord. 2 words describe a pet kept properly. Controlled & contained. Dog & Cat people still can't seem to get this straight more often than not, but we reptile people are continually singled out. My snakes have never scared anyone or destroyed their property or caused them any grief due to noise etc. because they are properly controlled & contained yet I see people cross the street all the time just so they won't have to walk by certain peoples yards which contain barking dogs even though they are controlled (?) & contained. Prejudge pure & simple NUFF SAID!
Mark
P.S. Let it be known that I do like dogs & cats, but dislike the ways they are kept more often then not. Remember 2 words CONTROLLED & CONTAINED!
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Old 04-30-04, 01:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Amen Mark! If only people could get those 2 words through their thick skulls.
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Old 04-30-04, 01:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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if you want to live there, you can, and you can have all the reptiles you want that are not against local by-laws.

check for yourself, the human society brought this issue all the way to the supreme court. i suggest that property group should get out of the 1980's and read the damn Act.

saying you can't have any kind of pet is like saying you can't have a child.
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Old 04-30-04, 01:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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And they have the right to refuse me tenancy on any basis they see fit. However, if there is such an Act in Canada, I'd love to shove it down their throats. Do you have any more info about this Justin? A link to something official would be really nice, and would certainly help my case.
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Old 04-30-04, 01:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Common now Marisa, there is a HUGE difference between breeding chickens and housing / breeding reptiles, lets me serious here. That is comparing apples and cucumbers...LOL. And lets be serious, all of your arguments here are irrelevant to a certain extent.

Quote:
Sometimes I feel some of the hobbys problems are created by us keepers ignoring the truth of the situation....reptiles are not the perfect pet. Things happen, accidents happen and dumb people buy them and do stupid things. Ignoring the problems they can bring won't help us as much as being silent wont help either.
No pet is perfect. Dogs go to the washroom on peoples lawns, they bark, they have the potential to bite, and boy can they ever stink. Cats also defecate on peoples lawns, they can stink, they can bite, they can scratch, they are allergenic, they can cause a lot of noise as well. And birds, I am sure we all know the noise potential here. What about all the dog owners who neglect their pets? Trust me, I see at least five a day - and do they not have the potential to escape? And are people not freightened by dogs? The rest of the points made cover it all, but I thought I would throw a few pennies into the discussion.
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