HAMPDEN Angela Nault has always been very interested in the welfare of animals, and with the foreclosure crisis and more and more people needing to rent homes, pets are being displaced at rising rates.
That's why she decided to do something to help our furry four-legged friends.
"Places For Our Pets" is a blog Nault started in November 2008 as a way for landlords who allow pets on premises and renters to connect. Current listings stretch from Adams to Colrain to Chicopee.
Nault, who had ambitions to become a veterinarian when she was younger, currently lives on a farm with her family and chickens, geese, rabbits and cats.
"It upsets me when people need to give up their animals due to a lack of suitable housing," Nault told Reminder Publications. She added that she feels it's a form of discrimination to say no to renters, that they can't have pets.
"You can't deny someone housing if they have children," she said. "Pets are part of the family too."
Nault, who herself was a landlord in the past, understands what most landlords are up against with insurance liabilities and possible lawsuits, but she said she still feels the need to try to help pet owners.
"I've found that most people with animals are usually more responsible [renters]," she said.
Still, the growth of "Places For Our Pets" has been sluggish.
"It's been kind of slow to get landlords on board, but I have seen a lot of users," Nault commented. "I've seen a lot of e-mails and heard about what a great idea this is. The feedback has been good."
Nault said she is of the belief of quietly helping others, and that's the main goal of her blog.
"I'd like to keep growing it," she said. "If it catches on [and gets lots of users], that's great."
The blog is free for both landlord listings and for users and can be found at petsandfamilies.blogsport.com.