M.D. from Fairfield County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo development has a by-law which restricts dog-walking to the periphery of the development only. In the 30 years since our development was constructed, changing water tables, soil erosion, heave/thaw cycles, and root growth have resulted in unsafe, uneven surfaces. Can a by-law and/or a board force a home owner to put themselves at risk by enforcing this by-law? I have fallen 3x last year and 1x this year and I am not feeble. I am also concerned about my safety at dawn/dusk/short days with regard to increasing brazen wildlife behavior. Do I have any options?
Mister Condo replies:
M.D., I am sorry that you have such a difficult terrain for walking your dog. Yes, there are more and more stories of wild life encroachment bringing more dangerous and aggressive predators to our populated areas. Bears and bobcats have both been problems for Connecticut residents. The Board isn’t forcing you to put yourself at risk here though as they don’t force you to own a pet or require you to walk it on association grounds. You and your fellow pet owners should write to the Board to make them aware of your plight and see if anything can be done to make it more pet-friendly. That might include adding a level walking area and fencing in the area to keep the wildlife out. Other than that, you might just want to take your pet off site to a safer area. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. All the best!