There's a maxim that the greatest challenges at homeowner associations are Pets, Parking and People. A carefully executed policy will promote the harmonious integration of pets and people. The following provisions are offered to help you shape such a policy:

  1. Only dogs, cats, birds or other traditional household pets are permitted.
  2. Reptiles, rodents and [fill in the blank] are not considered to be household pets.
  3. No animal shall be kept or bred for commercial purposes.
  4. Pets may not exceed X pounds when fully grown.
  5. Total number of pets and offspring per residence is limited to ____.
  6. All pets shall be registered and inoculated as required by local ordinance.
  7. No pets are permitted to run at large.
  8. All pets must be kept on a leash at all times when on the grounds.
  9. All pet damage is the sole responsibility of the owner. Damage to HOA property will be repaired and reasonable repair costs billed to the resident (or the unit owner if the pet owner is a renter).
  10. Owners shall pick up and dispose of all pet litter immediately. Any owner failing to clean up after a pet is subject to reasonable cleanup cost plus a $ fine for each occurrence.
  11. Any pet that disturbs the neighbors, creates excessive noise, is allowed to run freely, is aggressive to people or destructive to HOA property is subject to permanent removal from the property. In such case, the pet owner (or the unit owner if the pet owner is a renter) will be given notice to remove the pet from the property within days. If the pet is not removed by the deadline, a fine of $ per day will be chargeable to unit owner's account and subject to normal collection procedures established by the homeowner association.
  12. Procedure for complaints: If an area pet is being offensive, offended party should first discuss the issue with the pet owner and request correction. If the condition persists, submit a written request for relief to the board (or management agent, if applicable) explaining the offense, time and place.

Since pets are considered cherished parts of their owner's family (and may even be an owner's only family), try not to be too "dog-matic" or you may run "a-fowl" with "cat-astrophic" results.

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