Veronica lives in a friend's garage.
She's determined to keep her family together, but money is tight, and affordable rentals are excruciatingly hard to come by in the San Francisco Bay Area. With two blocky-headed dogs in the equation, finding housing becomes nearly impossible. To make the search easier, she could surrender her pets to the city shelter - a notion, at this point, she can't bear to think about. But in a month, when her friend moves out and space in the garage is no longer available, Veronica, who is not pictured in this story and asked to be identified by her first name, may be forced to confront the unthinkable.
Her predicament is hardly unique; in fact, it's surprisingly common in the Bay Area, where residents are still recovering from the recession, and pet-friendly, budget-friendly rentals don't become available often. Last year, sfgate.com reported that one local listing site claimed only 17 percent of their rental apartments specifically indicate that dogs are accepted. The result is that more and more pets are winding up in shelters - not because they're unwanted or unloved - but because their people literally can't provide a roof over their heads.