Repeat Offender Dog Can Be Asked To Leave, Court Concludes
A California HOA’s governing documents supported its board’s decision to order the removal of a dog with a history of injuring both humans and other dogs.
“I love this case because it supports an association’s right to enforce its covenants by requiring removal of a dog,” says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of California homeowner association law firm SwedelsonGottlieb.
Although the court’s opinion was unpublished (meaning it can’t be cited as precedent), she says, “this case really shows that the board was doing the right thing.”
A couple who owned a unit in the community brought the dog, a German Shepherd named Kato, into it in August 2018, when he was three months old. The following February, while on a walk, he attacked another owner’s dog, requiring stitches and antibiotics. Kato also “bit and/or scratched” that dog’s owner.
The HOA sent Kato’s owners a notice of violation and held an enforcement hearing. The board decided to ask the owners to comply with the CC&Rs going forward, to ensure Kato was never off leash, to maintain control of Kato in the common areas, and to pay the other dog’s veterinary bills. It warned them that “should there be any further incidents with other animals or people, the dog could be asked to leave the community.”
In May 2019, Kato attacked two more dogs in the community and injured another neighbor. Learn what happened next: