Sunrise Takes Innovative Approach to Pet Policies

Posted by sunrise255 on September 5th, 2017


Heather Schechter
Sunrise Management & Consulting
Office: (518) 782-0200, ext. 103


Sunrise Management & Consulting Takes Innovative Approach to Apartment Pet Policies: Allowing Dogs with No Breed or Weight Restrictions at Several Communities
Pets Are Welcome is Supported by Training and Guidance from Mohawk Hudson Humane Society

— Press Conference & Check Presentation from Van Allen Apartments to Mohawk Hudson Humane Society at 5 pm at the Joe Bruno Stadium 9/6 before the ValleyCats “Bark in the Park” Event —

Albany, NY (August 29, 2017) – Sunrise Management & Consulting is taking an innovative approach to pet policies in several apartment communities: to allow dogs with no breed or weight restrictions. Sunrise decided to create a Pets Are Welcome community (PAW, a designation of the Humane Society of the United States) at Van Allen Apartments in North Greenbush in consultation with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society (MHHS) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Recently, Sunrise rolled out this policy to other local apartment communities: Homeroom Lofts Apartments in Averill Park; Long Pond Village in Rotterdam; and Draper Lofts Apartments in Rotterdam, which will welcome its first residents this Fall.


When Sunrise wanted to make Van Allen Apartments an especially pet-friendly community, the company reached out to MHHS for guidance. Sunrise was referred to an employee who had expertise on the issue of pets and rental housing from prior work with the HSUS. Explains Director of Marketing Heather Schechter, “we were connected to Todd Cramer, the current CEO of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, who was then Vice President of Operations. We told him about our exciting plans for beautiful apartments and a pet-friendly community at Van Allen Apartments. We planned to include luxurious amenities for both residents and their pets. For residents, we would have oversized granite kitchen islands, stainless steel appliances, and a covered balcony or patio. For pets, we would offer dog parks and an indoor and heated pet grooming center. We showed Todd the list of breeds we had restricted at our properties and asked if there was an updated breed list. It was from that first conversation with him that we were encouraged to re-think our pet policies and to make Van Allen the region’s first Pets Are Welcome apartment community.”


According to the HSUS, all breeds of dogs can live happily and peacefully in apartment communities. The success of the project comes down to the policies that are in place to support the program. For example, at Sunrise PAW properties, managers have been trained to do “meet and greets” with prospective pet owners and their pets. Pet owners are asked a series of questions about their pets and property staff observes dog behavior to gauge how the pets interact with others. Information on the PAW initiative can be found in Animal Sheltering Magazine (


From an animal advocacy perspective, PAW is a welcome policy change for apartment communities. For renters, the inability to find a home that accepts their pets is the number one reason why people re-home their pets according to a 4/18/16 post from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) ( “Our recent study on re-homing dug into the reasons why people re-home their dogs or cats (re-homing includes relinquishment to shelters, giving the animal to a friend/relative/neighbor, relinquishment to a vet). We found that almost 20% of those who re-homed cited housing problems as the primary reason for re-homing. Twenty percent of all dogs and cats re-home due to housing problems—that is something to sit with for a bit. When we drill into homeowners vs. renters, housing problems accelerates to the number one reason why people re-home.”


“In many communities, ours included, renting with pets can present a major challenge, especially for those with multiple pets or certain breeds of dog,” explains Todd Cramer, President and CEO, MHHS. “Pet-friendly housing is not good enough when lack of housing for families with pets is a leading reason pets are surrendered to our shelter. So when developers of Van Allen Apartments in North Greenbush approached us for advice on developing a truly pet welcoming rental community, we were happy to assist. We introduced them to PAW, a program developed by the HSUS whose research supports the idea that with the right policies, dogs, cats, and other pets can thrive in apartment communities and live in harmony with residents without the need for restrictions based on size or breed. We provided training for their staff and helped them develop policies for residents. We commend Sunrise Management for thinking beyond traditional, arbitrary pet restrictions in rental housing and addressing the growing need for housing that is truly welcoming for pet owners.”


Sunrise President Jesse Holland is pleased with the success of PAW at Van Allen and other Sunrise communities: “Seeing Van Allen Apartments become a reality with happy non-pet owning and pet-owning residents living together in harmony is truly gratifying. In 1988, I adopted our family’s first dog from the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. When I graduated from college, it was common to purchase a starter home, allowing people the freedom to buy their first pet. With changes to the job market where Millennials change jobs more frequently and move locations, it is becoming more common for people to start their professional lives in an apartment. Our residents still crave the experience of owning a pet. At Van Allen Apartments, and now at Homeroom Lofts, Long Pond Village and Draper Lofts, we are excited to be able to provide homes for people with all sizes and breeds of dogs. Working with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society has been instrumental in our success: they have provided us with the tools, training for our staff, and support for our residents to make our Pets Are Welcome communities great places to live. At the ValleyCats Bark in the Park game on September 6th, it will be my honor to present the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society with a check in recognition of our partnership.”


For more information on Sunrise Management & Consulting’s Pets Are Welcome properties, please visit for Van Allen Apartments in North Greenbush; for Homeroom Lofts Apartments in Averill Park; for Long Pond Village Apartments and for Draper Lofts Apartments, both in Rotterdam.


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About Sunrise Management & Consulting

Sunrise Management & Consulting of Albany, NY provides development consulting, marketing, leasing and property management services for multifamily investors across the northeastern United States.  The professionals at Sunrise Management & Consulting utilize innovative management and consulting programs to deliver consistent, dependable results that exceed industry performance standards. For more information, please call (518) 782-0200 or visit


About Mohawk Hudson Humane Society

Founded in 1887, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, is the largest animal protection agency in the Capital Region and serves as the SPCA for Albany and Rensselaer Counties, investigating and prosecuting cases of animal cruelty. The Society is funded primarily by donations, receives no ongoing local, state or federal government funding, nor does it receive funding from any national humane groups. The main campus is located at 3 Oakland Avenue in Menands. For more information, contact (518) 434-8128 or visit


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