A Barnhartvale man who insisted to City council he wouldn’t fence his yard or put in a dog run to be allowed three dogs changed his mind and changed council’s view in the process.
Otto Duczak had two dogs of his own, when his adult daughter came back to live for a while, another dog in tow.
That breaks the City’s two-dogs-per-household limit and Duczak, who has had violations with dog bylaws in the past, got caught.
Last month, he asked council to give him a variance to allow all three dogs to remain at his Uplands Drive home. But when he refused to put up fencing or a run, saying leaving his dogs chained to the garage or loose within the property was good enough, council turned him down.
On Tuesday, he returned to appeal council’s decision. This time, he said a neighbour recommended a $400 dog run he promised to put up.
“I’m committed to that,” he said.
Coun. Nancy Bepple wanted to deny the request, saying she wasn’t sure he would follow through.
But Coun. Tina Lange put forward a motion that Duczak could keep the three dogs only if he installed a run and kept the dogs supervised when they were out in the yard.
Coun. Arjun Singh said the daughter’s dog is like a therapy dog, since she’s going through some mental-health issues right now. Plus the family submitted to council several letters of support from neighbours.
That and the dog-run commitment prompted him to vote in favour of the variance.
Coun. Pat Wallace felt the run should be installed first, then the variance granted.
City safety and community enforcement manager Jon Wilson said council could set a deadline for the dog run and his staff would check to make sure it was in place.
Duczak asked for 14 days, and council granted it.
Coun. Nelly Dever, who was also skeptical whether he would follow through, reminded Duczak the variance could be revoked if there were three or more complaints about the dogs in a one-year period.
In the end, though, all of council except Bepple were reassured enough to allow the three dogs. Coun. Ken Christian was absent.
Moments earlier, council had approved two other residents to be allowed three dogs. Gregory Koll and John Olynick had two dogs, but they took in a third dog owned by an ailing relative. Two of the dogs are Pomeranians, one is a husky mix. They are eight years or older.