Today’s (2021 08 07) Calgary Herald on page D4 contains an article by Roberto Noce headed ‘Does a no‑pets bylaw include ’emotional support’ dogs?’
The condominium board president’s problem is that their bylaw specifies ‘no pets’, but an owner wants a dog to relieve stress. Noce points out that ‘Cases involving animals such as service dogs or therapy pets/comfort animals come up in the context of physical or mental and mental disability [which] are defined legal terms under the Alberta Human Rights Act.’ Noce stresses examining the bylaw to see if and how it fits the situation under discussion and also points out ‘A decision of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench supports the position that an emotional support animal that is not otherwise accredited under the Service Dogs Act does not qualify as a service dog.’
When we were rewriting our bylaws in 2005, the then‑current bylaws allowed two cats or dogs up to 23kg (about the size of a small pony), and fish or birds provided the board permitted them. The re‑written bylaws allow only one neutered or spayed dog or cat per unit with a maximum weight of 20 lbs, and other animals. I conclude that one therapy cat, small dog, or another animal would be allowed under our bylaws. I guess we were further‑sighted than we knew at that time!
When re‑writing the bylaws, it would seem prudent to include wording that indicates Service Dogs are approved under the Service Dogs Act, regardless of the condominium’s bylaws, and address the question of other therapy animals or pets separately. Someone will say that such wording may be superfluous since the Act supersedes the bylaws, but I suggest inclusion for clarity in the bylaws.
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