A KIDDERMINSTER woman keen to return home from crisis-hit Greece fears she will have to live apart from her husband because of the dogs they rescued from the street.
Cathy Clark and husband John say they plan to move back to England with 15-month-old daughter Zoe and dogs Jasper and Max because living on the Greek island of Aegina has become “impossible” economically.
Mr Clark says the family will not leave without their beloved dogs but have been rejected or ignored by nearly 40 letting agents in Kidderminster and surrounding areas.
They have been unable to find a home, he says, because landlords prefer not to rent to pet owners.
Now he is coming to stay with relatives in Kidderminster at the end of August to look for work and accommodation, and will be away from his family for “as long as it takes”.
“We can’t leave without the dogs because they are a part of our family,”
“The state of dogs on the street in Greece is bad to say the least – the dogs would be worse off than when we found them.”
Mrs Clark grew up in Coningsby Drive and attended the former Franche Middle School and Wolverley Secondary School.
She had worked at the Fox Inn, Chaddesley Corbett and Land Oak and Farmers Boy – both in Kidderminster – before leaving to find bar work in Greece, where she met Mr Clark after looking after his dog Jasper.
They then discovered that they had both given homes to stray dogs in Greece.
“If it was not for the dogs we would not have met,” Mr Clark, originally from London, explained. “We want to be a complete family and the dogs are part of that.
“Living in Greece has become impossible and now we will be apart as a family.
We are not happy about it but I will come to England at the end of the month and my wife, child and dogs will join me later.”
Chris Norris, National Landlords Association head of policy, said he could understand the reluctance of some landlords to accept tenants who kept pets.
“This is usually because of the added risk of damage to property and furniture,”
“A landlord cannot ban their tenants from keeping pets but is allowed to refuse permission so long as they justify their decision.
“We would advise tenants and landlords to be open and to talk and agree about the keeping of pets.”