Family chooses pet dog over living in home - WKRN News 2

Family chooses pet dog over living in home

Photo Courtesy of ABC News Photo Courtesy of ABC News

Landlords forcing a family of four to choose between a roof over their head or their pet dog; they chose their dog.

Carol and Peter Devia, and their sons Leandro and Christoffer, are living out of a car in Walnut Creek, California in order to keep their two dogs, a lab mix named Camilla and a pit bull named Rocco, ABC News reported.

According to the family, both dogs are friendly and housetrained.

But Rocco wasn't always a sweetheart. The reformed pit bull once broke the snout of a curious Dachshund that wandered into the Devia's yard.

In addition to going to court and taking a class, the family had to pay $500 for three years for a dog license and an extra $200 per year insurance plan.

The Devia's said Rocco has been well-behaved ever since.

"We've noticed a huge difference in his behavior," Carole Devia told ABC News. "He's like a totally different dog. He wants to meet everybody and lick everybody."

However, their pit bull is keeping them from finding a place to live.

"When landlords see Camilla, they have no problem with her. Everybody will take her," she said. "But as soon as they see Rocco, they say 'Oh no.'"

Carol and her husband were fired from their newspaper delivery jobs last year for a breach of security. Carol Devia said she was wrongfully terminated and had nothing to do with the breach.

The Devia family was evicted from their apartment when the landlord learned of their termination. With little savings or credit, it became more difficult to support each other. But that wasn't the worst of it.

They couldn't find another place to live that allowed Rocco.

Animal welfare advocates say this is part of a housing crisis for pit bull owners.
"It's not uncommon for people to say 'I can't take the dog to the shelter where it will be killed,'" said the director of Pit Bull advocacy organization BAD RAP, Donna Reynolds.

Now with new jobs delivering newspapers, the couple works at night and sleeps during the day. They spend a lot of their time driving to wooded areas where the dogs can play.

*ABC News contributed to this story.

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