‘Barking mad’ decision to ban cavoodle
IT'S been OK for other pets to live at a unit complex at Palm Beach so a decision to ban the new kid on the block, a "cavoodle'' named Toby, has the pooch's owners barking mad.
They're ticked-off because members of the body corporate are trying to block their 7kg pup from living at Palm Gables, so the row has been taken to the Body Corporate Commissioner.
Toby's owners Kurt Leopard and Hannah Lane claim in their complaint to the commissioner they are being "treated unfairly and bullied" by the body corporate because their application for their toilet-trained dog to live at home was rejected - while other animals are allowed to remain.
Instead it was suggested by the committee that all owners of the 24-unit complex take a vote on whether the small dog would be allowed to stay.
The couple, who say they specifically bought their property late last year because it was advertised as "pet friendly'', argued the committee had not acted reasonably in its reasons for refusing their pet.
But committee members say animals have been approved on a case-by-case basis and they simply "don't want to live in a complex full of dogs".
The dispute, now before the commissioner, is likely to be decided in the coming months.
Until then Toby has been allowed to stay on the property under strict conditions.
Documents show Toby has had all his vaccinations and attends weekly obedience training.
His owners have told the commission the dog is part of their everyday life.
The Bulletin understands the couple are not the only ones fighting to keep their furry friend at home, with another couple seeking approval.
Bylaws at the 24-unit complex have allowed for pets, following successful applications to the committee since 2001.
Submissions made by Toby's owners to the commissioner say the committee is "well and truly aware" of other dogs "and other small pets" within the complex.
The body corporate of Palm Gables knocked back the application for Toby in June this year, two months after Toby's owners first applied.
In a heated email exchange in May between the owners and the body corporate chairman, a "Mr Cullen'', the chairman denied bullying the pair.
"I am not going to be involved in an email war in relation to this. The fact is I don't want to live in a complex full of dogs," he said in an email to Mr Leopard.
"The committee voted and the decision is what it is. If you want to take this to the next level then that is your prerogative."
An adjudicator for the commission, listed on documents as S. Barry, said in an interim order the body corporate had made a number of "missteps''in its handling of the matter and accused the group of "avoiding discussion on the issue of other pets in the complex''.
A complex-wide vote on whether Toby should stay was also deemed "not appropriate''.
"I am of the view that the application should be granted due to the nature of the matter," the adjudicator wrote.
"Refusing to supply reasons to an applicant, (except using a 'floodgates' argument) while being strictly within the right of committee members, is unhelpful to the process, almost ensuring an application to this office."
Mr Leopard, Ms Lane and the body corporate were unavailable for comment.
A decision is pending.