El Dorado couple warned: Don’t let dogs out of HDC townhouse

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


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AN El Dorado couple has been warned not to let their two dogs out of their Housing Development Corporation (HDC) townhouse unit except to put them in their car to take them outside the development for exercise.

Justice Frank Seepersad made the order on Tuesday in an ex-parte application filed by the HDC for an injunction to have the couple remove the dogs from their unit at the Peas Tree Housing Development in El Dorado.

In making the order, Seepersad said the court recognised there were competing rights involved: the right to the individual’s enjoyment of property and the collective rights of all the residents of the housing development to enjoy the common spaces on the property.

“Rights are never absolute and are subject to lawful limitations. Personal rights must be exercised in a manner which ensures that the rights of others are not violated,’ he said as he made an amended order which will allow the couple to keep their dogs, a Siberian husky and a mixed-breed dog, for now.

The judge’s order is effective until January 19, when both sides will return to court for a hearing of the injunction application.

Until then, the couple was warned, “Those who let the dogs out will definitely be in the doghouse.”

Seepersad said the popular lines of the song, “Who let the dogs out,” written by Trinidadian Anslem Douglas and made famous by the Bahamian group Baha Men, now had to be modified for this case to: “Don’t let the dogs out.”

In its application, the HDC asked the court to order the couple, Keith and Andra Allen, to remove the dogs from the development within 48 hours.

The HDC alleges the couple is in breach of covenants of their deed of sub-lease, specifically the clauses which relate to nuisances and a ban on keeping animals without permission.

The application said the couple had been asked twice to remove the dogs but did not.

Jayselle McFarlane, managing director of the HDC, in her affidavit, said the HDC had received numerous complaints about the dogs from residents at the development.

One resident, Kristy Maxwell, said the couple had previously owned an American pit bull terrier.

“These dogs are not only nuisance but pose a serious threat to the residents of the Peastree Housing Development.”

Maxwell said on October 18, 2020, the pit bull escaped, ran into the park at the development and came into contact with her son, who had to be pulled from under the dog by neighbours.

She reported the incident to the development’s management company, which is incorporated to carry out tasks such as maintenance, and a petition was sent to the HDC to enforce its no-pet policy.

In October last year, she said, her son and other children from the development were playing in the road when the husky escaped and started running towards her son. She reported the incident to the police.

She said while the couple no longer owned the pit bull, they still had the two other dogs, which continued to “disrupt the daily lives of the residents of the Peastree Housing Development and cause distress.”

She asked the court to grant the order for the couple to remove the dogs from the development.

The HDC was represented by attorney Chael Casimire at Tuesday’s virtual hearing.