Off-campus student housing bans dogs

PSU dog owners have one less downtown housing option now that College Housing Northwest has banned dogs from all of their buildings. Students living in Goose Hollow Towers and Goose Hollow Plaza before the policy change will not be asked to get rid of their pets, however no new dogs will be allowed in either building. Exceptions to this policy will only be made only for students with disabilities.

The previous pet policy at Goose Hollow Plaza and Goose Hollow Towers allowed students to own pets under 25 pounds, including dogs, with no additional deposit. Students with larger dogs were asked to pay an additional $100 deposit. Like many rental companies, College Housing Northwest also had a list of around a dozen restricted breeds that students in the Goose Hollow buildings were prohibited from owning. The new pet policy prohibiting tenants from owning any dogs became effective in July and applied to both the Goose Hollow buildings, effectively banning dogs from all College Housing Northwest Buildings.

Joe Vennes, property manager for both buildings, said dog owners’ unwillingness to cooperate with the cleanup of dog waste around the building was the number one reason for the change in policy.

Owners would fail to clean up the waste, and others would track the mess inside onto the carpet, meaning frequent carpet shampoos were required. Carpets have been replaced in two main hallways in Goose Hollow Plaza and Vennes estimates the cost of those replacements at around $1000, but he says this is only a fraction of the cost. “The real cost is in the man hours it takes to continually shampoo the carpets.”

Another problem was dogs urinating in the hallways. “I suspect that what’s happening is owners are allowing their dogs to wander, unleashed, down the hallways and these dogs are urinating before they make it outside.”

“It’s unfortunate,” he said, “because I’m sure it’s a minority of the dog owners who let it happen.”

Despite the issues with dog waste management, Vennes praised dog owners in other areas. There were no issues with property damage inside apartments, or with noise complaints from other tenants.

Eric Meeuwsen, a resident of Goose Hollow Towers, said he never noticed much of a problem with dog waste. “People mostly cleaned up after their dogs, except for the occasional turd on the sidewalk.”

Another resident, Isa Lee, said that the dog owners refusal to pick up after their pets, “was a problem, but now that they put in a cleanup area it has gotten better.”

There are currently about 25 dogs living in the Goose Hollow apartments, and building managers and tenants are still dealing with the dog waste issues. A new dog waste cleanup station with a bag dispenser and garbage can has been installed by the sidewalk next to the upper parking area to make disposing of pet waste easier for current tenants.

The good news for PSU dog owners is that Portland is “overall a very pet-friendly city,” according to Rhonda Brande, an Oregon Humane Society volunteer who maintains the organization’s Pet-Friendly Rental Listings. Along with researching and maintaining the list of pet-friendly rentals, available online at, Brande offered the following suggestions for dog owners who want to impress potential landlords. “Have a letter of referral from your previous landlord, a letter of reference from your veterinarian and a pet resume listing all the shining qualities of your dog.”