Friday, February 20, 2009

Canine Casbah is over one more legal hurdle

Today Janet Chernin - local legend in the dog community, went to court for her in-home doggy day care - for the last time. In the last, what is it now - THREE YEARS?? She's been to municipal court at least 5, may TEN times (it seems) because she was charged with running an illegal in-home occupation - the vaguely termed "keeping of animals" - or what we who actually live in the 21st century and own companion animals and not cows in our backyard - an in-home doggy day care.

And in fact she'd been running the most successful in home doggy day care in the HRM for the last 10 years (at that time, now it's 13 years) - without a complaint from a neighbour, a client - past or present. The "query" about her business came from a former competitor. Who was that former competitor? I talk about that story at length in a past post from 2007 called "The Truth as I've seen it". You can read about it there.

But today, the judge has finally seen the light of day - and thrown the charges out - and stayed the charges against the Canine Casbah - so Janet is free to pursue her chosen pursuit of livelihood - and dog owners on the peninsula of Halifax can have access to the same type of services that owners in other areas of the HRM can access.

It doesn't mean that in home doggy day cares aren't illegal on the peninsula - they still are - there is no definition of kennel, or pet care facilities in the land use bylaws for the peninsula - but the Canine Casbah has no cease and desist order - so I guess you could say that it's like a person jay-walking and no police officer being there to catch the person doing the deed.

And with the municipality having already spent probably upwards of at least $30,000 - $50,000 on the prosecution of this case to this point surveilling Janet Chernin's house so that they could "confirm" that she was in fact running a whore-house - oh no, that's not what she was running - she was running a doggy day care! And then cross-checking everyone's licence plates so they could get people's names and addresses - that takes time and money and resources. You get the idea. You have to build a case to successfully prosecute a case.

To do that twice for the same case? It's unlikely they'll do that to the Canine Casbah - so now she'll just have to work her way through the Municipal Planning system - public hearings, Regional Council - how many more years will that take?

Talk to Wendy Gillespie out at Pampered Paws in Hammonds Plains. From start to finish it took her case less than 2 years. See some inequity there? A lot of Janet Chernin's friends do.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Joan for your YEARS of support - the truth is out in court documents that Kyra Foster former owner of Paws N Play, who at the very same time was in home boarding dogs in her RENTED home vindictively targetted my business - she is the owner of Willows now - funny eh since she claimed she had to close her business do to financial reasons...

    Doggie daycare case stayed, getting licence another story

    Sat. Feb 21 - 5:38 AM
    The saga of a non-licensed Halifax doggie daycare isn’t over yet.

    Judge Marc Chisholm of Halifax provincial court ruled city hall’s prosecution of Janet Chernin of the Canine Casbah must not proceed because of the amount of time it’s taken to deal with the case, the woman told The Chronicle Herald.

    "Because of undue delay, he stayed the case," she said.

    The municipality took Ms. Chernin to court in 2006. It acted after receiving "an inquiry" about her Oak Street business the previous year, she said. That query came from a competitor at the time, said Ms. Chernin.

    She said "the amount of delay and stress" has been very hard on her and is not conducive to building a business.

    Ms. Chernin, who owns four dogs and will care for a maximum of 12 pets at one time, said she has never received a complaint from her neighbours.

    Though she won her case, which she said has cost about $20,000, the jury is still out on whether the Canine Casbah will one day be legitimate.

    She said the issue has to go back to Halifax Regional Municipality again, and regional council will probably set a date for a public hearing soon. She hopes to be a licensed operator by April or May.