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Orbit Independent Living’s new pet policy

Titch is a 9 month old toy poodle who lives with Pat and Ron Savage, at Park View, Coventry. He may look small but, in his own way, he is a big thing for Orbit Independent Living. He’s one of the first pets to start living in a scheme, thanks to the new Pet Policy.

“We decided to relaunch our Pet Policy in our sheltered and extra care schemes,” explained Becky Davies, Area Business Manager, “The policy has quite strict requirements but we want to make sure people know what they’re getting into, can sustain their tenancy and avoid anti-social behaviour. It encourages responsible pet ownership.”

As soon as Pat heard about the new policy, she spoke to the scheme manager. “I thought the questions asked in the policy paperwork were all perfectly valid. I could see a reason for all of them. We haven’t had this much fun in years. The neighbours love him and I get to talk to so many people when I’m out walking him.”

Missy is a 5 year old Collie Alsatian. She is the first dog to live in Orbit Independent Living’s scheme, Willett House, Wellesbourne in Warwickshire. She and owner, Rob, had an extraordinary journey to get to where they are now - literally. Rob and Missy had moved to Devon when he started a new relationship. When that broke down, both he and the dog lived in a tent for a few months before deciding to come back to the Midlands. So they walked. All 260 miles of it.

“We walked during some of the hottest days in the summer,” Rob explained, “I would offer people £1 to fill up water bottles so she could have something to drink. She’s good for me; she’s my buddy.”

The flat at Willett House was available and the pet policy was in place when Rob and Missy came to view it. “Everything just seemed to happen at the right time,” said Jayne Turvey, Area Manager, “We explained to Rob that he and Missy might meet some opposition. But it’s gone really well.”

Did you know?

  • A 2010 survey from the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association (PFMA) found that 90% of people thought separation from a pet is traumatic for older people entering residential care or sheltered accommodation
  • Studies show that petting a dog or cat lowers blood pressure and older people show improved alertness when caring for a pet. Pets can be especially valuable for people experiencing major life changes, such as illness or the loss of a loved one.