John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Brett staying after finding dog-friendly landlord

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HOME AND HOSED: Widower Brett Morrison and dog Abby are remaining in their Papamoa neighbourhood after finding a dog-friendly landlord.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
HOME AND HOSED: Widower Brett Morrison and dog Abby are remaining in their Papamoa neighbourhood after finding a dog-friendly landlord.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

Tauranga widower Brett Morrison and dog Abby have found a new beachside home after an outpouring of sympathy from people wanting to help.

The city's ambassador for bowel cancer - the sickness that took the life of his wife Sarah last year - faced the daunting prospect of being forced to shift to Hamilton to find an affordable rental that allowed a dog.

Mr Morrison, 33, had to quit his tiny but ideally located Papamoa Beach Rd bach after the rent was hiked by nearly 30 per cent to an unaffordable $420 a week, and it was too small for a flatmate.

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

He couldn't bear to be parted from the 11-year-old German shepherd/labrador cross that belonged to his late wife, and it looked like he would become a victim of the city's chronic shortage of affordable rental properties.

But news of his predicament touched many hearts and he received 22 offers to flat or board with others, or to rent properties just out of town.

The breakthrough came when he contacted Eves and spoke to a woman who had followed his journey with Sarah since early on in her illness.

She knew of a place and after making a few calls managed to secure a new rental that was amazingly only 1km down the road from his old place.

"It's a freshly renovated, full-size three-bedroom home on a full section, so there's plenty of room for Abby to run around and it means I get to stay close to friends and family in the area," Mr Morrison said.

His new rent was $60 more than what the landlord wanted for his old place, but it was for a house and backyard that was twice the size.

Mr Morrison, a keen surfer, said it meant he would be able to fit in a flatmate, leaving him to pay less rent than for the bach.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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