National campaign starts at Limehouse to outlaw pets being evicted after courtroom 'dog fight'
PUBLISHED: 12:01 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 08 March 2017
Smartpicsuk. Free editorial use in connection with court case
A woman who lost a courtroom battle to keep her dog in the face of a ban in the luxury Docklands complex in east London where she lives has begun a national campaign for the right for anyone to own a pet.
Gabby Kuehn has started an online petition for a debate in Parliament aimed at outlawing blanket bans on pet ownership.
She is one of a growing militant dog-owning community in Limehouse now fighting to outlaw the bans they say breach human rights.
“I want the UK to move towards other countries where such policies are invalid,” Gabby tells tomorrow’s East London Advertiser.
“You can’t deny somebody the companionship of a pet. My dog is part of my family—I love him and he loves me.”
But a judge at the Mayor’s & City Court last week ordered an injunction against her Maltese-Yorkshire crossbreed named Vinnie to be gone from her Imperial House penthouse apartment by the Limehouse Dock marina in 28 days. She is appealing against the injunction and is instructing lawyers.
The freeholders she says gave her permission for a dog in 2015 when Gabby, 45, moved in with her Canary Wharf financier husband Florian.
But the management company looking after the complex, which took the legal action, have had a 20-year blanket ban on pets, the court heard. Her lease states she can’t have a pet without their written permission, which was refused.
The judge ruled for the injunction, but also ruled that you cannot have a blanket ban and that the property management “need to review their policy”, which the campaigners say is a small step forward.
The campaign has been kicked off with nearly 3,000 online signatures so far—but needs 100,000 to get a Commons debate.
“We are campaigning for tolerance,” Gabby tells you. “A landlord shouldn’t have the right to just tell you on a whim that you cannot have a pet.
“There are charities taking in hundreds of animals because people face bans just to keep a roof over their head. In the worst cases, they live on the street just to be with their pets.”
Her campaign is backed by a growing lobby of east London dog-owners who bussed supporters in a Routemaster double-decker to the court hearing.
Lobby co-ordinator Lesley Balding, who runs ‘Canary Woof’ pet owners social group, which holds annual dog shows at the Limehouse Street Festival, said: “This case has raised awareness of people having to give up their pets because of these bans.”
Campaigners plan to lobby MPs once the legal action begun 15 months ago is over. Gabby has until March 20 to lodge an appeal against the ban on Vinnie.