After struggling to find housing, the senior and his dog secured the house



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Stan Parsons, 84, and his dog Jellybean, took pictures at their home on Friday, January 18, 2019. Stan and his pet have found a new residence in Calgary.

Leah Hennel / Postmedia

An 84-year-old struggling to find an affordable home for himself and his dog will have a new place to live at the end of January.

Stan Parsons was looking for a unit to rent in his community in Crescent Heights after he was told that the current rental was not renewed. But wherever he turned, he found a policy that banned all seven-year-old pets or dogs the size of a Labradoodle, Jellybean.

Alice Wheaton learned about Parsons's situation after Postmedia shared her story, and contacted a senior to offer her one of the units she rented in the neighborhood.

Once he moves later this month, he and Jellybean will still have easy access to local dog parks, where they are recognized by other residents. Senior will even have a page to pursue one of his favorite hobbies as soon as the snow melts: gardening.

"This is a relief," Parsons said on Friday. "You sit here wondering, wondering what you are going to do. Now this is solved with a lot of help from different people."

Wheaton said as the owner, he asked potential tenants to see veterinary records for their dogs, to make sure they were responsible pet owners and that they would be reliable tenants. He added he had never had a problem with a pet owner as a tenant.

"When I heard about Stan, it felt like,‘ OK, well I have the means and I have the will, & # 39; "he said. "And I really hope everyone sees dogs and cats as assets."

He made concessions on leases to meet Parsons's budget and would arrange to get furniture for him.

"I can't imagine 84 years old, loving my pet, and being told that I have to give up," he said. "And for me, what I do is not saving lives, but it enhances life. And having seniors as part of our community, active, in and out, rather than behind closed doors, waiting for family or friends to visit them – that's not a great way to live. "

Ann Toohey, scientific coordinator at Brenda Strafford Center on Aging at the University of Calgary and one of Parsons' supporters, said solutions were still needed for many other seniors who could not find subsidized or affordable housing for themselves and their animal friends.

"I can't say how happy I am that we have managed to connect very decent individuals and their dogs to home," he said. "This is a heartbreaking problem."

But, he added, his heart was "continually destroyed" for many older adults who were told they had to part with their beloved pet to secure a place to live.

"That is the current reality for subsidized housing," he said.

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