DEAR HARRIETTE: I have two dogs and a cat. I know that my life would be much easier if I sold my pets, but I can’t bring myself to do so. I love my pets as if they’re my children.
Recently, my landlord told me that I can either get rid of one of my animals or pay an extra monthly fee of $75. I’m struggling to pay rent as it is. Should I continue to hide my animals from my landlord and risk being evicted? Selling them would be an absolute last resort for me. -- Pet Lover
DEAR PET LOVER: If you do not want to sell or rehome one of your pets, start investigating to see if you have any rights in this situation. First, check your lease. Make sure that there is a legally binding clause that indicates the pet policy. Read it carefully to ensure that your landlord has the right to charge you extra for your pets. If the policy is unclear, do your best to fight for your animals. Promise to keep them under your control at all times and to keep your place tidy.
If you have no rights, your next recourse may be to move. Look around for affordable apartments with welcoming pet policies. Moving can be a drag, but it may be the only way to keep your babies.