Palliative dog facing eviction from St. Catharines condo

Couple asking for more time for 14-year-old Nikita, as condo board serves notice to "remove additional dog," enforcing building one-animal rule
ST. CATHARINES, Ontario - April 27, 2023 - PRLog -- After living in a house for most of their lives, Laura Rogers and Robert McConnell — and their three dogs — decided it was time to downsize. There were a number of items on their condo wish-list, but at the top was ensuring there was space for all five of them.

They found one on 7 Gale Crescent that seemed like a perfect fit, and moved in on May 30, 2022. But it was a few months later when they learned about the St. Catharines building's one animal per unit rule, and were told their dogs would have to find new homes.

"The super(intendent) said it was OK, the listing agent that found the place for us (said) it was OK, so we believed it was OK," said Rogers. "We didn't do anything on purpose to try to be sneaky."

The couple said they sat down with then-board president Julia McLaren and explained the situation. Two dogs were older, Maddie, 17, and Nikita, 14. Nearing the end of their lives, the couple asked for a compassionate exemption from the board, Niagara North Condominium Corp. No. 32.

"(McLaren) had to talk it over to the other board members at that time and it was granted to us," said Rogers. "She was very compassionate. She was waiting to see, and did tell me, 'Laura, if there's complaints, I'll have to go ahead with action.' But she also came back and told me (there's) never been one complaint."

Rogers, a retired nurse, thought they had an agreement. In February, Maddie died just short of her birthday, leaving behind Nikita and her sister, six-year-old Lola.

Last week the couple received a letter from Hamilton law firm SimpsonWigle Law LLP for non-compliance in "removal of dog" residing in their unit.

The document said the couple is in breach of two sections of the Condominium Act — not following rules laid out for all residents and for having an additional pet in their unit — adding "this is not acceptable."

"Please remove the additional dog from your unit by no later than May 5, 2023, failing which the corporation will make an application to a judge to obtain an order directing you to comply," the letter said, also stating the firm would charge the couple for the cost of its involvement, $750.

Despite multiple requests for comment, lawyers for the condominium did not respond.

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Rob McConnell
Location:St. Catharines - Ontario - Canada

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