A Surrey woman has been told by her strata council to get rid of her beloved dog Scout because the nine-month-old Golden Retriever is more than 14 inches tall at the shoulder, contrary to Boundary Park Place’s bylaw governing pet height.
After unsuccessfully trying to fight it, rather than say goodbye to her pet, Rabiya Merani has decided to sell her Newton home and move on.
“It’s kind of become a bit of an uncomfortable environment and unfortunately there’s a few people in this building that just aren’t really demonstrating kind of the values that I want to make sure I live by and so for that reason I want to find a new place where both Scout and I will be welcome,” she told the Now-Leader.
Merani received a letter from strata manager Kathy Blake on Nov. 6, with a copy to the council president, telling her, “Your dog is already taller than the bylaw permits (14” at the shoulder) and as such the Strata Council voted that you must remove the dog from the premises. The date by which the dog must be removed is December 6, 2020.”
Merani has lived at Boundary Park Place, a 34-unit condominium complex, since October 2019 and got Scout in May 2020.
She said Scout, who is now 19 inches tall at her shoulder, has been a good companion during the pandemic.
“She’s incredible, she’s actually my first puppy. I’ve had pets before but she’s my first dog and it’s been wonderful because I work from home now,” Merani said. “She’s been my saving grace this past year.”
“I got her when she was exactly eight weeks old. She’s been with me every single day since then and I just can’t, you know, it wouldn’t be my home. Like I wouldn’t want to live here without her, it wouldn’t be my home without her.”
Merani said she didn’t realize there was a bylaw regarding a pet’s height on the books, and when she did she contacted the property management company to see what the process was to get the bylaw changed.
“The first step was getting 20 per cent of the owners to sign a petition to get the bylaw changed as an item on the agenda for the AGM, which I did with ease,” she said. “I needed to get at least 75 per cent of support in changing that bylaw but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
Merani said other residents are violating the bylaw but “unfortunately I’m the only one being singled out,” she said.
The Now-Leader reached out to Strataco Management Ltd. for comment Monday.
“This is a matter between the owners and the strata corporation,” Blake said. “If I comment I can be inadvertently breaching privacy and other important issues and so at this time I really don’t have comment for you.”
Strata council president Linda Moore also declined to comment.
“It concerns bylaw enforcement and I’m not able to comment. It might infringe on the privacy of the owner so we’ve got to really be careful,” she said Tuesday.
As for Merani’s claims she’s been “singled out,” Moore said, “I really don’t want to comment on that because that infringes on other owners as well.”