A senior citizen could be evicted because of his attachment to a cat.
Philip Grenlie, of Iola, received a warning letter from the company that manages the rentals in his apartment building.
The letter from Horizon Management Group, Inc., of La Crosse, stated: “The cat must be removed immediately and may not be allowed back until approved by management. If the animal is still in your unit or found to be there anytime … your tenancy will be terminated for failure to comply with the lease and house rules.”
Grenlie, age 94, has requested that the pet be approved and sent a $300 check for the pet deposit.
The request has been ignored and the check has not been cashed or returned.
When contacted by the Waupaca County Post, Horizon Management Group refused to comment on the issue.
Refusing Grenlie’s request to keep the pet is within landlord rights, according to the Tenant Resource Center.
The Tenant Resource Center suggests that tenants receive permission from their landlord prior to getting a pet.
“You could be evicted if it is prohibited in your lease,” the resource center website says.
Grenlie has reluctantly said farewell to his cat.
“I liked having a companion,” he said. “It is a special cat. I will be very lonely without her.”
Friends found the cat wandering around and felt sorry for it, so they gave it to Grenlie.
He named the young cat “Tagtail” because “she followed me everywhere.”
The cat is currently staying with its veterinarian, Debra West, of ScandiaWest Veterinary Clinic. She vaccinated, declawed, spayed the cat free of charge, and offered to keep it until it can return.
“I think it’s terrible they are threatening to terminate his lease,” West said. “This cat just loves him. I would like to see them be happy together.”
“Tagtail is a gentle cat and very playful,” Grenlie said. “She was a lot of company.”
West noted that other tenants in the building are allowed to have pets, and would like the management company to understand that the 94 year old hadn’t realized that he needed prior approval.
“Philip has jumped through hoops (to keep the cat) and just because he didn’t follow ‘procedures,’ they won’t let him have the cat,” West said. “It’s a rotten deal.”
A landlord is not obligated to allow everyone to have a pet just because one tenant has a pet, according to the Tenant Resource Center website.
“The landlord may give pet permission to some tenants and not others as long as (the landlord) does not discriminate against certain tenants because of membership in a protected class, such as race, religion, sex, etc.,” the website states.
Elderly pet owners tend to be more active, cope better with stress, and have lower blood pressure than seniors without pets, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Pets can help improve health, according to WebMD. The website stated: “For nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits. Pets help lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. They boost our immunity.”
The website also stated: “Just caring for a pet – for elderly people who are able – can provide exercise and companionship.”
According to the Psychology Today website: “One line of aging research that shows great promise investigates how pet therapy generate hormones that affect mood.”
Interaction with pets is beneficial to aging adults, according to PRWeb. The website states: “Long-term studies have proven that pet therapy and its interactive approach has significant emotional and physical benefits for seniors. Animals have been effective in reducing loneliness, anxiety and depression. And the act of touching and interacting with an animal can help lower a person’s blood pressure and provide stress relief.”