A heartfelt public reaction looks like saving Tauranga widower Brett Morrison from being forced to shift to Hamilton in order to keep his beloved pooch Abby.

Morrison has two weeks to find a rental that will accept a dog after the new owner of his tiny Papamoa bach hiked the rent by nearly 30 per cent to $420 a week.

His 11-year-old German shepherd/labrador cross belonged to his deceased wife Sarah, who succumbed to bowel cancer nine months ago.

Read more: Dog owner may have to leave to find suitable rental home


News of his predicament caused by Tauranga's chronic shortage of affordable rental properties provoked a strong reaction from people wanting to help.

Some got directly in touch with the Bay of Plenty Times while others contacted him through his Facebook page, including an Auckland man Brian who offered to rent his Judea property to Mr Morrison on the condition that Abby was not allowed inside the house.

Mr Morrison, 33, said it was not ideal because Abby had been an inside dog all her life and might not react well to being restricted to a kennel or garage.

Someone else offered a stop-gap solution of renting a vacant house at Te Puke until a buyer for the property was found.

The dog is welcome, I am an animal lover myself and I want to help.


He said both offers had their downsides but could be last-resort solutions: "At least it gives me a Plan B."

One of the people who left their contact details with the Bay of Plenty Times was Jason Lunn, who owns a rental with downstairs and upstairs flats at Waihi Beach.

"The dog is welcome, I am an animal lover myself and I want to help," Mr Lunn said. He understood it may be a bit far to drive to work every day for the contract concrete layer, but said he would be happy to at least offer a short-term solution for Mr Morrison.

And with a view of the beach, it would be an additional attraction for Mr Morrison, who likes to chill out by surfing.

"He could stay until he finds somewhere permanent."

Another option offering a short-term or long-term arrangement has been offered by Elizabeth Rose, who lives near Te Puke.

"I don't like to see someone struggling, I've been in that situation myself," she said.

Ms Rose has moved a villa on to a big section and was offering Mr Morrison the chance of living in the villa while she lived in a renovated extension of the original house. Apart from sharing the bathroom, he could have his own space.

"He can suit himself if he stays or if he doesn't, that's OK. He would pay a bit of rent."

Another possible solution came from "Pete" who had a house to let on Trade Me. After many phone calls and email enquiries, he said he had been unable to find the right tenant.

"Check out my listing," he said in the message to be passed on to Mr Morrison. "I've no problem with a well cared-for dog."