Moving with a Pet Guide
Temporary Housing and Shelter for the Whole Family
While in between housing, you may be able to keep your pet with you.
Many of San Diego’s temporary shelters and safe parking lots for people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence are pet-friendly, and can be accessed by calling 211 or visiting 211sandiego.org. Visit our Housing and Pets FAQ for more information about safely living outside or in a vehicle with a pet.
Note: If you need support for a domestic violence situation, call the national domestic violence hotline at 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
There are also a number of hotels that welcome pets and many of them do not charge a pet fee. Visit bringfido.com to search for a local pet-friendly hotel.
If you are staying with a friend or family member during your housing search, San Diego Humane Society may be able to support you with pet supplies such as a crate or guidance on introducing pets. Please call 619-299-7012 or visit our Community Support Services page for more information.
Temporary Housing for Your Pet
If you are not able to keep your pet with you while you search for housing, here are a couple of alternatives to surrendering your pet:
- Start by reaching out to your network: ask relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors (try NextDoor) if they can foster your pet temporarily. Visit our Housing and Pets FAQ for guidance on keeping your pet safe while they are cared for by someone else.
- Consider boarding your pet in a private facility or applying for a temporary foster care program. Visit our Pet Boarding and Temporary Foster Care page for free and low cost resources.
Assistance Animals in Housing
According to the CDC, one in four Americans currently lives with a disability, yet many community members do not know their rights when it comes to assistance animals in housing.
State and federal fair housing laws provide rights to both service animals and emotional support animals in housing as reasonable accommodations for a tenant’s or housing applicant’s disability. A reasonable accommodation is an exception to rules or policies that are necessary to allow people with disabilities to use and enjoy their housing. This includes a requirement that housing providers make exceptions to a "no pets" policy.
Visit our Emotional Support and Service Animals in Housing page for more information.
Here are websites that we have found helpful when searching for pet-friendly housing. If budget is a concern, you may want to consider trying to find a roommate. In addition to the websites below, a Google search for “roommate finder (city name)” will yield more web results.
While you are searching for housing, consider 6 Steps to Finding Rental Housing that Will Welcome My Dog
Apply for Housing Assistance Programs
Call 211 to find out which housing assistance programs are available and to determine your eligibility.
City of San Diego Homelessness Response Center