Karen Lindgren and Tom Kreuzinger – who live at 2000 89 Avenue – were informed last week by the city's chief bylaw enforcement officer that they were in contravention of the bylaw after a complaint was received from a neighbour. The bylaw, which was adopted in 1983, stipulates that no residence can have no more than two dogs, and Lindgren has three dogs – a four-year-old German Shepherd cross, a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel-poodle cross, and a 10-year-old German Shepherd. She was informed she would have 30 days from the day of receiving an order to comply with the bylaw to remove one of the dogs from the premise, or to appeal the decision to city council.
Lindgren was at City Hall this morning to ask for an exemption, supported by her sister-in-law, Susan Grant. Lindgren was too emotional to speak, so she had Grant read a letter written her veterinarian, Trevor Reeves, in support of her request to have the order stayed.
In the letter, Reeves stated that Lindgren and Kreuzinger have a very close bond to all three dogs as two of them were rescued and the other belonged to Lindgren's parents, and that either animal would probably face euthanasia if surrendered to the SPCA because of their age or health problems.
"Karen and Tom have arrived at this circumstance of owning three dogs not in attempt to flaunt the City's bylaws but out of compassion. I hope the City can find its way clear to not punish them for being decent and moral people," Reeves concludes in his letter.
Lindgren said she did not originally intend to own three dogs and was not aware that she was in contravention of the bylaw. She added she had only ever received the one complaint about the dogs.
Councillors agreed to waive the order on compassionate grounds later in their meeting.
"I wouldn’t want somebody coming into my home and telling me I have to get rid of my pets. I love my pets more than I love people sometimes!" said councillor Theresa Gladue.
Councillor Terry McFadyen said to his understanding, staff from bylaw enforcement did canvas Lindgrens neighbourhood and were not informed of any other complaints about the dogs, so he said he did not have a problem granting the exemption.
Mayor Mike Bernier said staff with the city and SPCA should be commended for the work they do to enforce the animal control policies in place, but he said each situation should be considered separately.