The 2023 AIM Pet Awards – Presented by Michelson Found Animals

More and more property managers are considering the removal of weight and breed restrictions to be more attractive to pet owners, who now account for about 70 percent of U.S. households.


By Judy Bellack, Industry Principal, The Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative

For the second year running, removing breed and weight restrictions set the grand prize winners apart at the 2023 Pet Awards, presented May 9th at the Apartment Innovation and Marketing Conference by Michelson Found Animals Foundation to showcase pet-inclusive rental housing communities.

Fidus Pet Concierge Communities of Dallas and The Management Group (TMG) of Atlanta were both named Most Pet-Inclusive Company among a strong field of finalists which also included Bar Down Investments and Paradigm Companies. Fidus took two additional awards, including the Most Successful Adopt-A-Pet Event or Program and Most Innovative Pet Amenity or Amenity Group, and TMG walked away with a second award for Outstanding Pet Citizen.

Like Fidus and TMG, more and more rental housing operators are considering the removal of weight and breed restrictions to be more attractive to pet owners, who now account for about 70 percent of U.S. households.

“We at Michelson Found Animals believe that everyone deserves the joy of having a pet, regardless of where they live,” said Ross Barker, director of the Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative. “Not only do rental housing operators see significant retention lift and the corresponding NOI increase as a result of easing restrictions, they also enjoy more connected communities and happier residents. It’s a true win-win scenario.”

Fidus Pet Concierge Communities is redefining ‘pet-friendly housing’ not only by accepting all weights and breeds of dogs, but by including such amenities as doggie doors, dog-safe patios, irrigated relief stations, on-site pet-care services and tech packages that help pet parents keep an eye on their dogs when home alone.

The Management Group removed all breed and size restrictions from their properties four years ago. Today, pets occupy 70 percent of their units, double the 2019 rate. Additionally, retention among these pet-occupied units is an astonishing 80% – well above the national average of 50%. TMG has realized such a positive NOI impact as a result of lower turnover costs that they have eliminated all pet rent.

Pets are more popular than ever before, and savvy rental housing operators see both the competitive and bottom-line advantages of easing or lifting pet restrictions,” said Judy Bellack, industry principal for Michelson Found Animals’ Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative. She sat as a judge for the awards along with the chair of Marin Humane’s advocacy committee Brian Cooley, and President of Western Wealth Jennifer Staciokas.

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Jul 20, 2023 | Media, Michelson Found Animals