Ah yes, the dog days of summer. Did you know that the origin of this phrase has nothing to do with our canine friends? It referred to Sirius, the dog star, which is glowing brightly this time of year. The Ancients thought it contributed heat to the Sun which made these days extra hot.
But here we are talking about our BFFs and not some light in the sky. It’s always good to be up on your Association’s policy regarding pets. It’s not unheard of to find weight and height restrictions for dogs (especially in apartment style condos). I’ve even seen breed restrictions—which I believe to be misguided. There are no bad breeds, just bad owners.
Two of the most common complaints I hear have to do with dog owners allowing their pets to be off leash and allowing them to relieve themselves wherever. Not coincidentally, these are the two most common reasons associations ban pets outright. The vast majority of dog owners are conscientious and responsible. But true to human nature, the bad apples tarnish the bushel and are the ones who most influence pet policy. It does not take a village to raise Lassie. But Lassie running around unattended and killing shrubs is reason to raise the dues.
Opposite the responsibility side of the coin is the side of prerogative. Board members should be aware of Federal regulations regarding service and comfort animals. By definition, a service or comfort animal is NOT a pet. Your association may prohibit pets…but these aren’t pets. Board members are well advised to avoid a dog-gone costly mistake and seek legal counsel before enacting a detailed pet policy.