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Woman wins fight to keep dog in condo

November 11, 2010 2:41:25 PM PST
A pricey dog fight in Queens is finally over, but not before costing condo owners 100-thousand dollars. The condo board wanted to evict the woman's dog, but the woman fought and won. "He turned my world around, turned my world around and I've been fighting ever since," Donna Forman said.

Forman was talking about her tiny Yorkie named Charlie. He has become a big deal at Village View Condominium.

Donnas' problems started before Charlie appeared in 2000 when she bought a unit here and moved in with her late mother's Shih Tzu, Rugby.

The five-member board sued to get rid of the dog, but Donna says they eventually dropped the issue. Things were quiet until Rugby died in 2006.

"I was like having panic attacks. I was going to work so upset, went to a psychiatrist. He put me on Zoloft to stop the panic attacks. I couldn't live without another dog," said Forman.

Therefore, Donna got Charlie.

Her attorney says at the time, the bylaws read: "Owners and their pets shall not use or permit the use of the premises in any manner which would be illegal or disturbing or a nuisance to other said owners."

Donna says Charlie never caused any problems.

"I had him in the kitchen. He cried as a puppy. Everybody on my floor said they didn't hear him," she said.

The board sued again and this time won, pointing out the condominium's house rules say positively no pets allowed for any reason.

However, Donna did not give up. She appealed and won with a judge pointing out bylaws override house rules.

Donna has spent about 20-thousand in legal fees.

On top of that, she and the other 23 owners must now pay the attorney representing the condominium board, anywhere from about 110 to 150 dollars each month for about two years.

"I feel terrible because there are a lot of people on fixed incomes and in this economy that's a lot of money," she said.

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