Sheila and Sherm Bertrand feel like one of their three, 14-year-old dogs has been handed a death sentence by the property owners association at Dunes Pointe Plantation.
The association board recently voted to limit each residence to just two pets, with no mercy given to three-pet families.
They must reduce their pet count to two by Saturday or pay a fine of $100 a day, said Sherm Bertrand, the immediate past president of the association board.
“What do they expect me to do with a 14-year-old dog?” he asked.
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Todd Fisher, the current board president, said the new rule was carrying out the wishes of the former board to limit the number of pets in each of the development’s approximately 100 condominiums.
According to Sherm Bertrand, his board voted to limit each residence to no more than four pets and none could be above 35 pounds. He said that the board further grandfathered all current pets, meaning any homes out of compliance would be allowed to stay out of compliance with no penalty until their pets died.
The current board didn’t grandfather anything, and Bertrand said board members told him the development’s bylaws didn’t provide for it to grandfather anything.
Fisher said the former board never passed any rule on pet limitations, so Bertrand’s contention that the current board changed the rule from a maximum of four pets to a maximum of two pets was not accurate, he said.
Fisher refused to comment further.
“I’m not at liberty to comment on that,” he said of further questions.
Fisher said those answers would have to come from the complex’s management company, but no one could be reached there to provide those answers.
Bertrand said there are less than a handful of Dunes Pointe owners who have more than two pets.
He and Sheila have three miniature poodles that are siblings and have been together their whole lives.
“We don’t care if they change it down to two (pets),” he said, as long as current pets exceeding the new limit are grandfathered.
Bertrand said the association’s regulations say that any rule adopted for the development must be fair to residents. He doesn’t think the new rule is, and he said he’s seeking help from an attorney.
Non-pet owning residents are on the side of those who have more than two, Bertrand said.
“No one disagreed with us,” he said. “They think it’s cruel and inhuman to not allow the pets to stay here until they pass on.”