The combination of pet restrictions and Victoria’s low vacancy rate means animals are being surrendered to the BC SPCA and a lobby group says it’s time to change that.

Pets OK BC says pet owners are at a disadvantage if they live in the Capital Region because lack of housing means they may need to make a heartbreaking decision: lose their home or say goodbye to their four-legged friend.

With the provincial election just under a month away, the group is calling on the B.C. government to ban no pet policies.

“This is not about everybody having pets. This is about taking care of the pets that are out there, that are in need, and keeping families together,” a member with the group, Jordan Reichert, said.

The BC SPCA Victoria branch says it sees a number of pets come in because of restrictions including breed and size, or because of a full pet ban.

“I think since the beginning of the month we’ve had about 30 animals come into care and some of those would be multiples from housing loss situations,” said manager Annie Prittie-Bell.

B.C.’s support group for landlords says property owners are responsible for safe and healthy housing for renters and a building full of pets is simply too big a burden.

“It just becomes too big an issue to try and have to address,” said David Hutniak with Landlord BC.

The province says the public was split the last time it amended the Tenancy Act in 2004, so the decision was left up to landlords along with the option of additional safeguards like larger pet deposits. 

The BC SPCA is not taking sides, but says pets belong in someone’s home not at a shelter. 

With files from CTV Vancouver Island's Yvonne Raymond