Cocker spaniels start online petition to stop evictions from their Poplar home
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 November 2015
Meet two ‘rescue’ dogs named Wallace and Charlie who face being evicted from their home by social landlords in the run-up to Christmas.
Their heartbroken owner, university librarian Alison Govender, and her 14-year-old daughter Jacinta, have started an online petition to stop the cuddly cocker spaniels being turfed out.
Alison has been ordered by Poplar Harca housing association in east London to get rid of the pets from her home in the appropriately-named Russell House in Saracen Street, off East India Dock Road—just a ‘walkie’ away from the Isle of Dogs, as it happens.
Her pets, which she took in from a canine rescue centre three years ago, must be out of the tenancy property by next Monday—or she faces being taken to court.
“I’m a big dog person,” Alison told the East London Advertiser. “Wallace and Charlie are part of the family.
“The anti-social behaviour officer on our estate told me I had 30 days to remove my pets—but the tenancy agreement I signed 12 years ago allows up to three pets.”
Alison was summoned to “an unlucky meeting” on Friday the 13th with the association’s Anti-Social Behaviour officer after two neighbours “made reports” about the animals—but the details or the allegations against Wallace and Charlie were not disclosed, she says.
“He refused to let me see the reports to see what was wrong,” Alison added. “He told me I had till the end of November or they’ll get a court hearing to remove the pets.”
Her dogs have been neutered, microchipped and have up-to-date vaccination—all documented, she tells you.
“They’re not a nuisance to anyone. They only bark when someone comes to our front-door—like the postman.”
Wallace, a Blue Roan cocker spaniel, is getting on a bit at 11 years old, while Charlie, an Orange Roan, is nine.
The housing association says it has been liaising with Alison for two years after “a series of complaints”.
A spokesman claimed: “She has repeatedly failed to meet the terms of two ‘Responsible Pet Owner’ pledges she signed.
“A number of residents complained about her dogs and our staff also witnessed fouling the communal area next to her property.
“She has been required to remove the dogs from her property for breaches of her agreements and was served a letter making that requirement by November 30.”
Alison denies Wallace and Charlie have ever fouled the communal areas.
So she has complained to the association’s chief executive Steve Stride, written to Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick—and started a ‘StopDogEviction’ online petition at 38 Degrees website for Wallace and Charlie, who also now have their own Facebook support page, to stop them being evicted by Christmas.
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