A homeowner’s association at Paradise Lakes Resort doesn’t have weight limits when it comes to human residents, and we guess that’s a good thing — even though the condo community is a clothing-optional one.
But the association’s rules run a little stricter for dogs, including one that bans any dogs over 25 pounds — apparently even when it’s a guide dog that belongs to a legally blind resident of the nudist community.
By now you’ve probably guessed that this can only be happening in Florida, specifically in Lutz, where a homeowner’s association has told Sharon Fowler she needs to get rid of her black Labrador, Laura, or move out, according to a lawsuit.
Fowler filed a lawsuit against the association last year. It was dismissed by one judge, but now that dismissal has been overturned by an appeals court, and Fowler has renewed her fight to keep the dog she says she can’t get around without.
“She helps me to get around curbs and obstacles,” Fowler told the Tampa Bay Times. “She’s 100 percent necessary to me. She’s my lifeline.”
According to a lawsuit filed last year, Fowler received a letter from the association telling her to get rid of the dog or move out.
The association said the dog violated their weight limits — something that wasn’t pointed out when Fowler filled out an application, disclosing the dog’s weight, when she moved in.
Even when Fowler provided documentation of her disability, the association did not withdraw the notice of the violations, according to the lawsuit.
“I felt demeaned, and I felt degraded,” Fowler said. “I’ve never felt so degraded.”
Her lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages for mental anguish.
“It’s the principle of the fact,” Fowler’s husband, Craig, said. “The board needs to know they cannot bully us around.”
Fowler says she has been told to only walk the dog in specific areas, and stay out of the way of pedestrians. She’s also been told her dog is out of control, which she says is not the case.
“My dog is a highly trained service animal,” she said.
“Paradise Lakes Resort does not discriminate against any person with physical disabilities and does not prevent any person with service animals from visiting the resort,” owner Jerry Buchanan said.
Fowler’s accusations were directed at a homeowners condominium association not connected with the resort.
Fowler says she has a rare autoimmune disease called leukocytoclastic vasculitis, which has already affected her sight and could affect her hearing.
She doesn’t want to move because she has learned her way around Paradise Lakes, and appreciates being able to live in a clothing optional community.
(Photo: Fowler and Laura; by Brendan Fitterer / Tampa Bay Times)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 28th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assistance dogs, association, black lab, blind, clothing, clothing optional, community, condo, dog, dogs, florida, guide dog, lab, labrador, laura, lawsuit, legally blind, lutz, nudist colony, nudists, nudity, paradise lakes resort, pets, rules, service dogs, weight limits
The ruling, issued by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, pertained to a mutt named Kayla, who — though not a service dog or a certified therapy dog — provided emotional support to her owner.
The complaint was brought against the owners of the Brighton Gardens building by Richard M. Blake, who was diagnosed with HIV infection more than two decades ago, according to the Boston Globe.
After his diagnosis, Blake isolated himself and rarely left the house.
“He was depressed, basically lounging around the apartment all day long, and his weight rose and blood pressure got out of control,’’ said Denise McWilliams, general counsel for the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.
Blake’s doctor recommended a dog to help lift Blake’s mood and improve his mental and physical health.
“She’s just given me sort of a routine in my life,’’ Blake said of the boxer mix he got in 2008. “She’s given me a lot of joy. Animals just seem to make it hard for you to be in a bad mood … Ever since I have had her, the walks and the tons of exercise I do with her have helped.’’
Blake said his landlord gave him permission to get the dog, but two months later tenants were notified that a no-pet policy in their leases would be enforced.
After unsuccessful attempts to get the landlords to make an exception, Blake filed a complaint with the state commission in December, 2008.
In its ruling, the commission said that evidence “supports a finding that requiring Complainant to give up his dog would seriously jeopardize his emotional and physical well-being.’’
Posted by John Woestendiek April 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aids, assistance, brighton gardens, commission, discrimination, dogs, emotional, health, hiv/aids, housing, kayla, landlords, massachusetts, richard blake, rules, service, support, tenants, therapy
Being a Rottweiller-mastiff mix, he — as you’d expect — quickly surpassed the 100-pound mark, well over the weight limit imposed at the Florida apartment complex where his owner, Denise Wilkinson, lived.
She started searching for a new home for him, but, unable to find one by the landlord’s deadline, dropped him off at Pinellas County Animal Services, with plans to pick him back up when she found one.
On its website, the county said dogs are kept seven days there. In person, they told her 48 hours. In reality, they euthanized him before a day had passed.
When Wilkinson, a day after dropping him off, went to pick up her dog, she found out Sunny had been euthanized — within hours of being dropped off.
“He wasn’t sick; he wasn’t old. He still had a long life ahead of him,” Wilkinson told Tampa Bay Online.
Senior Animal Control Officer John Hohenstern said Sunny was aggressive and caused concerns about the safety of shelter workers. “It was determined that because of the aggression in the dog it was not an adoption candidate,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything with the dog.”
Hohenstern said that, despite the wording on the website, Wilkinson had initialed a paper stating she understood that the surrender was is unconditional: “Pinellas County Animal Services makes no promise, actual or implied, regarding holding time, treatment, adoption or disposition of this animal.” Hohenstern said the document initialed by Wilkinson superseded the website.
The county, Tampa Bay Online reports, has since changed the language on the website.
Hohenstern said with more animals being surrendered, possibly because of the economy, the animal control office encourages people to consider other options before dropping a dog there. “We try to … let them know this is kind of their last resort,” Hohenstern said. “They don’t want to do this.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animal control, animal services, animals, apartments, big dogs, denise wilkinson, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, florida, holding, landlords, limits, mastiff, pets, pinellas county, rentals, rescue, rottweiler, rules, shelter, size, sunny, surrender, weight limits
Kanab, Utah is by and large a dog-friendly town. About a third of its motels permit dogs, as do most of the restaurants with outdoor dining. You can hardly drive down the main street of this one-stoplight town without seeing someone walking a dog.
It’s the headquarters of Best Friends, the world’s largest animal sanctuary. It’s in Utah, a place whose major religion has so many rules, state and local governments don’t feel obliged to constantly come up with new ones (though I’m told there’s a two-dog limit in Kanab proper). And it’s in the west, free and open, where a man can be a man, and a dog can be a dog. Many an old-time western was filmed in the surrounding hills and canyons.
But even here, there’s truly “dog-friendly,” and there’s “well, ok, since nearly half of American homes have dogs, and more people are vacationing with dogs, we’ll put up with them because we’ll make more money that way.”
Which brings me to yesterday’s shoot-out. It was just one of words, left on notes, attached to my motel room door.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary doesn’t permit volunteers to bring their own dogs, and for legitimate reasons. Making things more incovenient, there are no kennels in town, just a couple of pet sitters. It would make enormous good sense — given the number of visitors, some who come to town with dogs — for either Best Friends or some entrepreneurial type to establish a kennel and day care business nearby. (Note to self: add that to the possible future careers list.)
Anyway, given those circumstances, when I reported for duty at Best Friends, I left Ace in my air conditioned room at the Bob-Bon Inn, where, judging from the autographed photos on the lobby wall, most of the cowboy stars you’ve heard of, and many you haven’t, stayed — back when they were alive.
I left a note on the door of my room that there was a dog inside, and that I didn’t need my room cleaned, and I came back to check on Ace and take him for a walk around lunchtime before returning to Best Friends for a couple more hours.
When I returned to the motel late in the afternoon, another note had joined mine. It said:
Sure enough, their written rules had specified just that (without the exclamation points), but somehow in my Internet search for a dog-friendly room, bouncing between five or six motel websites, I’d missed that.
Ace, of course, caused no trouble. He didn’t bark, or soil the new carpets (though the overflowing toilet came close to doing that yesterday morning). Even though the room, nice as it was, was only the size of a prison cell, Ace was content to peacefully hang out in the air conditioning.
That night, fortunately, I was scheduled to meet a member of the Best Friends staff for dinner at a dog-friendly restaurant. And this time, at the Rocking V Cafe, the dog friendliness was real. The first thing Terrah, our waitress, did was to check and make sure there was water in the dog bowl, provided at every outdoor table, and bring out some dog treats.
Then she fell in love with Ace. Then all the other diners fell in love with Ace. As usual, he stopped traffic, made friends and, except for a few pedestrians who veered around him, made people happy. It was a true dog-friendly experience — so much better than the phony variety.
(Willow Canyon, an outdoor gear, book and coffee shop, also passes the dog-friendly test, and I’m told Laid Back Larry’s, a vegetarian restaurant/coffee place on Highway 89, is also an especially dog-friendly venue.)
After dinner, Ace and I walked downtown, then returned to the motel. I had planned to ask to stay a third night, but, in light of the exclamation points, I decided not too, leaving my key in the room and checking out quietly and without confrontation.
Unfortunately, I left behind a clogged toilet — which I’d say is the fault of the plumbing not me. As much as the proprietors probably fear dog waste, they were left with the human variety. I briefly thought about going to the office and asking for a plunger.
But I’m a motel guest! Not a plumber!
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” from the beginning, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, animal sanctuary, animals, best friends, clogged, dining, dog, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, kanab, motels, pets, regulations, restaurants, road trip, rules, toilet, travel, traveling with dogs, utah
Proposed by Ronald “Byron” Williams, and still requiring the city’s approval, the initiative would go on the ballot in November if Williams is able to collect 4,000 signatures on petitions.
“We’re considered to be an extremely dog-friendly city, and we need to live up to that and do something about it,” Williams told the Denver Daily News.
Williams began work on the initiative after becoming frustrated with the lack of dog parks in Denver. He believes designated leash free hours would be a good compromise, allowing dogs some time romp off leash while not significantly impacting those using the parks for other reasons.
The city considered and scrapped a similar plan earlier after complaints from nearby neighborhood groups.
Denver is now working on a “dog park master plan,” a final version of which is expected to be approved this month.
“ The plan would implement a fee for existing dog parks, use that money to pay for additional park rangers who could write tickets for people who illegally have their dogs off-leash, and identify possible new areas that could be used for off-leash dog parks,” the Daily News reported.
At first glance, that seems more like plan to build revenue than to provide some running room for dogs.
Williams initiative, if approved, would likely lead to more immediate, and less expensive, results and make Denver — except for that nasty pit bull ban — a dog-friendlier city.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, city, denver, designated, dog parks, dogs, hours, initiative, master plan, news, off-leash, ohmidog!, parks, petition, pets, recreation, regulations, rules, unleashed
A Thai restaurant in Australia that refused a blind man entry because it thought his guide dog was “gay” has been ordered to pay the man $1,500.
Ian Jolly, 57, was barred from dining at the Thai Spice restaurant, in the Sydney suburb of Adelaide, in May 2009 after a staff member mistook his guide dog Nudge for a “gay dog,” according to testimony before an Equal Opportunity Tribunal last week.
Restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant’s waiters said that Jolly’s partner, Chris Lawrence, stated “she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant.”
According to the Herald Sun in Australia, Jolly and Lawrence were refused entry to the restaurant, which displays a “guide dogs welcome” sign.
At a hearing on Friday, the restaurant agreed to provide Jolly with a written apology, attend an Equal Opportunity education course and pay him $1,500.
“The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog,” a statement from the hearing said.
That makes it sound like the misunderstandings run deeper than matters of accents and language. For one thing, neutered dogs — if that’s what they mean by “desexed” — don’t become gay. It seems like maybe the restaurant owners may be in more need of guiding than Ian Jolly.
Jolly said he was happy with the result, but added, ”I just want to be like everybody else and be able to go out for dinner, to be left alone and just enjoy a meal.”
Posted by John Woestendiek April 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adelaide, animals, australia, bars, denies, dog, dogs, entry, equal opportunity, gay, gay dog, guide, guide dog, ian jolly, mistake, misunderstanding, news, ohmidog!, pets, restaurant, rules, sydney, thai spice, tribunal
Alright, Minnesota Twins. You don’t allow dogs in your new baseball park — named after the Target Corp. So who was that in the box seats behind home plate at your home opener?
Oh, it was Bullseye? The dog Target uses to advertise its chain of discount stores? The one with two red circles painted around her left eye?
That makes it all ok.
If dogs are banned, dogs are banned — and it shouldn’t matter how much money her corporate owners have, or even if the stadium is named after the corporation she represents.
If you’re going to allow Target corporate honchos to bring a dog in, you need to allow everyone else as well — and not just those who can afford to buy a $275 box seat behind home plate for their dog. Those in the right field bleachers should be allowed, too.
Bullseye “was there after the [military jet] flyover [and] through the bottom of the first inning,” Chris Iles, a Twins spokesman, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Iles took the opportunity to caution fans against bringing their pets to a game.
“Any type of service animal is allowed, but no other animals,” he said. “That said, given the commitment Target has made to the organization, we made a one-time decision to allow Bullseye, a highly trained and constantly supervised dog, to sit in a seat for a half-inning.”
Lena Michaud, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target, said Tuesday that Bullseye was in one of Target’s corporate seats merely as “a fun element to commemorate the day. … That was the vein in which it was intended.”
More baloney. (I’d spell it correctly — bologna — but that is not the vein in which it is intended.)
The Twins/Target front offices can spin the situation until the cows come home, but the message has already been received: Rules don’t apply to the very rich, especially those who help pay for your stadium.
On top of rising ticket and concession prices, baseball continues to give blue collar fans, us average mutts, the brush off – becoming ever closer to becoming a game played by the rich for the rich.
How do you think a fan who can no longer to afford to go to a game might have felt sitting at home and seeing a dog in the $275 box seats behind home plate? Sorry, the Twins seem to be saying, we welcome rich people, and their dogs, but you, Joe Sixpack, are just not in our league … And don’t even think of bringing your non-painted dog, that doesn’t have a corporate logo stamped on his eye, in here.
(Actually, Bullseye’s bullseye is applied by a trainer and makeup artist – Rose Ordile of Animals of a Different Color — using nontoxic red paint.)
Michaud said there was no commercial shot or marketing strategy surrounding Bullseye’s attendance. The dog sat in a custom-made Twins jersey with her name on the back as well as the number 10 to commemorate the Target Field opening in 2010.
The six-year-old miniature bull terrier’s presence at Monday night’s game was captured via television frame grab off ESPN.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, baseball, box seats, bull terrier, bullseye, catering to the rich, chris iles, dog, dogs, fairness, fans, game, influence, lena michaud, logo, major league baseball, marketing, minnesota twins, news, no dogs allowed, ohmidog!, opening, pets, rules, target, target field, wealth
Maryland’s House of Delegates has approved a proposal that would allow dogs in the outdoor dining areas of restaurants in Frederick County.
An identical measure passed the Senate, but one of the bills still has to be approved by the other chamber before landing on the governor’s desk.
The measure lets Frederick County Commissioners create an exception to silly state health regulations that ban dogs — except service dogs — from dining areas, both indoors and out.
Allowing dogs at restaurants has been touted as a way to increase tourism in downtown Frederick, especially at the Downtown Frederick Partnership’s event, Dog Days of Summer, according to the Frederick News-Post.
If the bill becomes law, county commissioners would need to enact an ordinance or regulation to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas.
The bill passed the House of Delegates 130-3 with delegates Charles Jenkins of Frederick County, Emmett Burns and Stephen Lafferty opposed.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 30th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, animals, delegates, dining, dining areas, dog, dogs, exception, frederick, frederick county, health, maryland, news, ohmidog!, outdoor, outdoors, pets, regulations, restaurants, rules, senate, state, tourism
Residents who have snuck dogs into a no-dogs-allowed Brooklyn housing co-op are being told to get rid of their dogs, or face monthly $100 fines and the loss of their parking spaces.
The co-op board notified residents of Trump Village of the new enforcement policy in a notice last month.
“I think it’s totally ridiculous,” Marylyn Langsdorf, 66, who lives with her 6-pound Yorkshire terrier, Chelsea, told the New York Daily News. “I think the whole point is to just get money from us.”
Langsdorf and other residents with dogs have already been fined, but they’ve yet to have their parking spaces revoked.
About 1,700 residents live in the three-building complex, and a dozen already have contacted a Manhattan attorney who specializes in pet-related tenant rights.
“It’s a way to extract money from these folks and scare the hell out of them to give up dogs they’ve had for years,” said attorney Maddy Tarnofsky.
Warren Hirsch, a spokesman for the Trump Village co-op board, said “a small number of residents have surreptitiously smuggled in dogs in defiance of the rules and regulations binding them. They have thumbed their noses at their fellow cooperators and dared the co-op to do something about it.”
(Photo: Langsdorf, left, with Chelsea, and another dog-owning resident; New York Daily News)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, brooklyn, co-op, dogs, enforcement, fines, forbidden, housing, new york city, news, no dogs allowed, not allowed, parking, parking spaces, pets, residents, revoking, rules, trump village
South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein’s habit of bringing her dogs to work was never a problem in the old courthouse, but since opening a spiffy new one, Dorchester County Council members are squawking about it.
Amid rumors that there have been doggie ”accidents” inside the shiny new $13 million courthouse in St. George, the county council — though it lacks the authority to set rules for the courthouse — has instructed the county attorney to draft a letter to the clerk of court “requesting” that animals not be allowed on the premises, except for service animals.
“The taxpayers paying for the building don’t bring their dogs to work. Other county employees don’t bring their dogs to work. Frankly, I’m surprised I’m having to make this request,” Council Chairman Jamie Feltner said.
The request leaves County Clerk of Court Cheryl Graham, a pet lover and board member of the local SPCA in an awkward spot, the Charleston Post and Courier reported. “That’s mighty nice of the council to put that on me,” she told the newspaper.
“It’s a little bit of an embarrassment that it would be an issue,” Judge Goodstein said. Her dogs are well-trained and haven’t soiled the courthouse’s hallowed halls, she said. She thinks the “accident” rumor might have stemmed from one day when she got down on her hands and knees to clean a construction worker’s mud tracks from the floor.
The judge, who routinely brought her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Boykin spaniel and Airedale to work with her in the old courthouse — vacated earlier this year — says she’ll comply with whatever verdict the clerk of court reaches.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, allowed, allowing, building, cheryl graham, circuit judge, clerk of court, council, county, courthouse, diane goodstein, dog, dogs, dorchester, jamie feltner, judge, letter, mess, new, request, rules, rumor, soiling, south carolina, st. george, workplace