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Louise Martin
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Pet Owners in Estates

Pet owners

By Esther de Villiers

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Pet owners

By Esther de Villiers

, |

3 min read

Domestic animals must live by these rules In terms of the constitution of Kingswood Golf Estate’s Homeowners Association and its House Rules, as amended in February 2021, animals and their keepers are bound by a reasonable list of do’s and dont’s.

The gist of this document includes, inter alia, that residents are not allowed to keep domesticated wild animals, and that all domestic animals are to be kept within erf boundaries as dictated by George Municipality’s relevant by-laws.

In terms of municipal regulations, a maximum of two dogs and two cats are allowed for dwellings that include units within complexes and stand-alone residences. Some Kingwood residents, however, are exceeding these limits. HOA trustee Marilyn Kamp says that although House Rules dictate that any stray or unaccompanied domestic animal found outside the boundaries of your home could rightfully be removed from the estate at the cost of its owner, but there has been a measure of leniency in this regard.

‘The Community Forum is informed when animals roam around without the company of their humans. The homeowners in question are then tracked down and have to collect their wandering pets from those who hold them until such time when animal and owner can be reunited,’ she says.

Additional House Rules include that animals walked by owners beyond the confines of their properties must be on leashes at all times, and that you can’t walk your dogs on the course during normal playing hours, such as determined by the golf club.

Doing it right from the start

‘Approval must be received before any animals are brought onto the estate – owners can just go and see Masadi le Roux at her office to the left of the Kingswood Pro Shop, and she will register the animal for you,’ Marilyn advises, adding that all domestic animals must be tagged and display their owners’ names and contact numbers.

The House Rules require that a photograph of the animal must be provided to the HOA to be kept on file for identification purposes. Furthermore, ‘members must erect a suitable enclosure that conforms to the Architectural Guidelines and Controls to prevent the domestic animals from straying off their property.’

And for those who prefer their feathered charges to be caged in, do take note that no outside aviaries are permitted on the estate.

‘Also, owners of cats are supposed to ensure that they have bells around their necks to prevent them from catching birds. But this is often not the case, and when I ask some of the owners why the required bells are absent, they say they are afraid their cats will get caught on a fence and strangle themselves,’ says Marilyn.

No to nuisance

‘The Association may call on the owner of an animal to remove it forthwith and, should the owner of the animal concerned fail, refuse or neglect to do so, the Association may impose penalties on the relevant member or may procure the animal’s removal from the estate and recover any costs so incurred from the member concerned,’ according to the House Rules.

‘Should any domestic animal prove to be a continual nuisance to other residents, the Association may call on the owner of the domestic animal to remove it and, if the owner fails or refuses to do so, the Association may impose penalties on the member concerned and/or procure the animal’s removal from the estate and recover any costs so incurred …’

Marilyn says that the rules above have indeed been observed in the case of animals that behave in a way that risks causing bad blood between neighbours. ‘The HOA has issued notices to homeowners where animals had become a nuisance, such as dogs that bark incessantly.’

Dog poo can’t be abided

In all cases, whether on common areas or the golf course itself, owners should clean up after their dogs and repair any damage done by their animals to property of the Association or the golf course.

‘Should the dog’s owner fail to comply, the Association shall be entitled to have such excrement removed or damage repaired and to recover costs from the member concerned,’ according to the House Rules.

‘Dog poo is a huge problem – when not collected, it is actually quite disturbing. People, especially those with big dogs, sometimes just walk on without stopping to pick up the mess. Not everyone is guilty, but some owners blatantly ignore this rule,’ says Marilyn.

‘A handful of owners allow their dogs off leashes when walking, which is not too disturbing when the dogs just walk alongside their owners, but can cause serious problem when the dogs start to chase or attack wildlife or other dogs or homeowners walking. Dogs that get out of the house and then roam around the estate also cause problems,’ she says, reiterating that the noncollection of dog poo is the gravest issue by far.

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