Apartment pets a rarity in DeKalb


There is a common saying that refers to a dog as “man’s best friend.” In college towns however, there is an even more common saying: “No pets allowed.”

Although the majority of apartment rental companies in DeKalb do not allow pets, there are a select few that provide homes to students with furry friends.

Ray Conley, owner of Conley Apartments, 427 Normal Road, allows small dogs and cats in two of his complexes and only caged pets in his rooming houses.

“I know that people like pets, and as long as they’re responsible for caring for them, I don’t see why I shouldn’t,” Conley said.

Conley said he allowed pets immediately after he bought both complexes. Tenants with pets, however, have some extra paperwork to fill out.

“I require a separate, refundable pet deposit,” Conley said, “and a signed pet addendum which says the tenant will do things like picking up after the dog or keep the litter box clean.”

Other property management companies, such as Star Properties, do not allow pets at all. Scott Zondag, office manager of Star Properties, said the company has not allowed pets for over 25 years.

Zondag added the repercussions of keeping a pet in a Star apartment could result in a $500 fine and, depending on the severity of the issue, eviction.

TAILS Humane Society, 2250 Barber Greene Road DeKalb, is a safe haven for rescued and abandoned animals. TAILS houses about 140 cats, 30 dogs and assorted small animals at any given time.

Beth Drake, TAILS executive director, said although she does not know exact data, college students give up more pets to the shelter than they adopt.

“If I were to guess, I’d say that less than 10 percent of our adopters are college kids,” Drake said. “We don’t keep statistics on [how many] college students relinquish a pet to us, but my best guess would be that about 15 percent of our surrenders are from NIU students.”

Even though the idea of college students having pets is up for debate, being accountable is a good quality to have.

“I think anybody who is going to be responsible should have pets,” Conley said.