Housing with a Dog

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Housing with a Dog

Postby Noble » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:38 am

Is there any general advice anyone can give me on whether it will be difficult to get housing that permits a dog? I imagine like most things it us district specific, but thought I'd ask.
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Re: Housing with a Dog

Postby Bushteachers » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:16 pm

Noble wrote:Is there any general advice anyone can give me on whether it will be difficult to get housing that permits a dog? I imagine like most things it us district specific, but thought I'd ask.


Will be district specific. Problem might be in finding a sitter when you have to travel. If you are not in a district hub, you may have to travel for inservice, which means often times your pet can't travel. If you are not provided teacher housing, pets would depend on your land lord.

My previous district allowed us to have pets in teacher housing, but we had to pay a deposit and an extra fee per month. Whenever we left the village as a family we'd have to make arrangements for the dog. We had a big dog and most people didn't want to watch her in their house. Anchorage hotels aren't very pet friendly.
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Re: Housing with a Dog

Postby Johncn » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:49 am

Hello,

Many rural districts have a pet fee and/or deposit built into their "negotiated agreement" (contract) with their teacher's union. I posted in another thread recently how to locate the negotiated agreements for most Alaska districts. Give "negotiated" a spin through the search box on the forum. Your mileage may vary, but I think most rural ones allow pets.

Here is an example from the BSSD Negotiated Agreement:

Teachers will be assessed a monthly fee of $20 per pet, up to a maximum of $60. All monthly fees collected will be accounted for on a per site basis and will be available for housing repairs/upgrades at that site only. For the purpose of this section, the definition of a pet would include the following: dog, cat, ferret, bird,and/or animal not contained within a cage. Housing units would be restricted to a maximum of three (3) pets in or about the rental property.

The pet fees are, I think, a good compromise. Districts know that teachers - especially those far from home and the familiar - may need to own and stay connected to their pets. At the same time, however, districts usually build or lease and furnish the rental housing units. I have always had pets, but I also know that pets DO on average provide extraordinary wear and tear on the fixtures and furnishings of the apartments. So, a policy that is "per pet" based and goes back into repairs and replacing rugs, couches and so on make sense to me as an administrator.

On the other hand, some places (such as the Pribilofs) can't allow pets at all due to US Fish and Wildlife regulations. So, always best to check and not make assumptions. In addition, if you do a search on "pets" on the forum, you'll find many different opinions about what to expect in terms of preparing for and caring for a pet in the Bush. It's a popular topic every year.

Speaking of opinions, I disagree with Bushteachers about Alaska hotels not being pet friendly. I guess it depends on where you stay, and how much you are willing to spend, but overall I have found Alaska lodging to have a higher rate of "pet friendly" than in the Eastern and Southern Lower 48 states. This includes the Sheraton, Hilton, Super 8 and a wide range of price ranges. All hotels at the peak of tourist season (July and August) in Anchorage are quite expensive , however, so just be prepared for some sticker shock.

Try this search for a list of pet friendly (according to Google) hotels in Anchorage:

https://www.google.com/search?newwindow ... gAodURMAbw

I know that list is not 100% complete, though, as the place we used to stay with our giant Newfoundlands - The Millennium near the airport - is not on their list. It's the official hotel of the Iditarod mushers, and at some times of year, the pets outnumber the paying guests...lol.

http://www.millenniumhotels.com/usa/mil ... anchorage/

The Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage welcomes pets of any size for an additional fee of $30 per pet, per night. First-floor rooms are pet friendly. A "Pets Inside" hanger must be placed on door if pets are left unattended in rooms.

Here is another list from TripAdvisor:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g6088 ... otels.html

And a specialized website that might help:

http://www.bringfido.com/lodging/city/anchorage_ak_us/

Good luck,

John
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Re: Housing with a Dog

Postby marymatt718 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:07 pm

I have my dogs here with me in Togiak. I don't think I'd be sane in the winter without them. I think the "cost" of having your dogs boils down to how much you want them with you. I am willing to drive an eight day journey from Texas to Alaska twice a year in order to have mine with me. They're my babies, and they are too big to fly on anything other than a cargo plane, according to airline kennel-size regulations, which, fortunately, within Alaska are not as strictly enforced. So, we drive. Okay, I'm cheating because it is a GORGEOUS drive, but it's still a loooong drive.

My district, Southwest Region School District, no longer charges a pet deposit, but they will withhold any pet damages from your last paycheck if they find it necessary. In my village we have pet and non-pet teacher housing, so yes it is a district and a village thing. If you do your research, you can easily manage to find that most districts have some accommodations for their employees to have their pets. If your pets are important to you, then that should be part of the criteria that you use to make sure the school/village is a good fit for you. Don't just choose a village because of its name or some perceived excitement about the location.

I agree with John's opinion about pet-friendly hotels in Anchorage. I have never had a problem. I prefer Motel 6 myself because they ALWAYS put me on the ground floor near a door, and they don't charge additional pet fees. I do make sure that I put a note about having two LARGE dogs in the reservation comment section. And before you say, "well of course they would then put you on the bottom floor," I did the same thing with Extended Stay America and they put me in the middle of the floor on the 4th floor with two 100 pound dogs who had never seen an elevator and totally freaked six times a day when I had to take them down and then back up every time I took them out to walk them. I was very.. very.. angry. :x So, in my opinion, Motel 6 ROCKS! Extended Stay America, not so much... unless you can pick up and carry your dogs. :roll:

I have also found a nice vacation-rental apartment in Anchorage for longer stays through the bringfido.com website that John mentioned. This website also has national listings of pet-friendly accommodations, including campgrounds...very handy on that 8-day drive when I decide I need to stop sleeping with the dogs in the car and want to take a shower. :) I highly recommend bringfido.com.
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Re: Housing with a Dog

Postby Bushteachers » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:55 pm

We must not have looked hard enough. After being told no pets or very high pet fees we gave up trying to find anchorage hotels. Of course we are fairly picky when it comes to lodging.
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Re: Housing with a Dog

Postby marymatt718 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:42 pm

In your defense, I don't think bringfido.com has been up for very many years. I only found it last year, and even then, it was actually my sister, the cat person, who found it and sent me the link. Before that I relied on a book by AAA called Traveling With Your Pet, which was 3 years out of date. :)
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Re: Housing with a Dog

Postby Noble » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:37 pm

Marymatt. Thanks so much for taking the time to post such an exhaustive and encouraging reply. Much appreciated. Noble.
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Re: Housing with a Dog

Postby Noble » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:37 pm

And everyone else who replied!
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