iggy joey toronto

Toronto dog who's verified on Instagram begging for a place to live

A certain dog in Toronto who's verified on Instagram has been begging for way more than treats lately: he's been desperately pleading for a place to live.

Instagram-verified pup Iggy Joey's dog mom Lyndal Moody recently posted an emotional letter to social media from the perspective of Iggy detailing their challenges with finding a new apartment for the two of them. 

"It's me," the letter begins, "the dog you've said no to living in your apartment."

It's a far cry from the usual content you'll find on the Italian greyhound and working dog model's social media, where he wears high fashion turtlenecks, bowties and glasses that are higher end than the clothes many humans have in their closets. There's even a photo of Iggy strutting the runway with his mom, Moody, the pair wearing matching raincoats.

Toronto landlords are notoriously wary of pet owners even though they technically aren't supposed to be able to disqualify tenants on the basis of having pets.

The letter is written in a humourous manner despite its seriousness, going on to say that Lyndal is far more of a liability to an apartment than any dog as she puts holes in the walls trying to hang things and blasts Taylor Swift music.

And still, the article concludes that any human that can take care of an animal as well as she can would surely make an outstanding tenant. 

Moody has never had a problem renting before, but was warned that the climate can be especially harsh.

"In my eight years of pet ownership, I have never had a problem finding somewhere to live in Toronto. I have always included a cover letter introducing my dogs, providing references, and even links to Iggy Joey's Instagram," Moody tells blogTO.

"Fortunately my past landlords have never had a problem with my two small dogs. However, this year I haven't been so lucky. All my friends who have moved recently warned me, before I started looking, that I would have to say I didn't have dogs or I wouldn't find a place. I wasn't comfortable with this, so I ignored their advice."

The number of apartments that were openly pet-friendly, downtown and within Moody's range was small, and she found when she inquired about places they were often already leased. Only apartments that were listed the day she spotted them seemed to be worth checking out. That's when she opened up her search.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the time these apartments listed as not pet friendly had pets in there already with the current tenants," says Moody. 

"I put offers in for four different apartments and was told no because they didn't want pets. At this point I took to Instagram."

Pet ownership has actually increased during lockdowns, and Moody says she can't imagine how much more difficult it must be to find a place for people with even more restrictions like a bad credit score or unstable income.

"I received many messages from my followers and other people who were also fed up with the rental market. Many shared with me that it took them longer than six months to find a place that would accept their bigger dogs. Thankfully mine are tiny," says Moody.

"I also ran a poll to get a sense of how many people were upfront about their pets on rental applications in Toronto. Fifty-six per cent did not disclose they had pets, this wasn't surprising."

She even got offers for places to stay while looking and tips on pet-friendly buildings and neighbourhoods, but they were either out of her price range or had nothing available.

In the end, sadly as is the case with most people, she had an offer accepted without disclosing she had pets. It was the fifth apartment she had tried to get, and she didn't even go see it in person.

"My fingers are crossed that on June 1 when I see it, it's nice, and to be honest I'm just relieved to have somewhere to live. Mind you my rent is significantly more expensive. My pets are my family, through them my mental health has improved, my friendship circles have expanded and even my career has changed," says Moody.

"I shouldn't have to live somewhere far away or rundown when I am a responsible tenant. To my new landlord, if you see this, don't worry, you will not see any signs of a pet having lived in your apartment. God forbid something happens, I will fix it. Like a decent responsible human."

Lead photo by

Lyndal Moody

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