In principle, the Old Grace Housing Co-operative believes that permitting pets to live within the Co-op is an asset to the community, in part due to the growing recognition of the therapeutic value of pets.
However, OGHC recognizes that some members may be afraid of specific types of animals, or may experience an allergic reaction to them. For some members, religious and cultural prohibitions mean that contact with specific types of animals (especially dogs) must be avoided.
Therefore, out of respect for the rights of all co-op members, the keeping of pets at OGHC is considered a privilege, not a right of occupancy, and is subject to reasonable restriction.
Pet owners interested in becoming members of OGHC will be informed of the Pet Policy during Membership Information meetings and in the Membership Information package. A statement of agreement with OGHC’s Pet Policy will be included on the Membership Application Form.
The Board shall appoint a Pet Committee of not less than three members with responsibility and authority to administer this policy.
The Pet Committee shall:
- At the outset, establish procedures for administering this policy, including the duties of co-op staff, if any, to assist the Committee in its work.
- Ensure that, before new members with pets move into the Co-op, they have submitted all the documentation required.
- Ensure that pet-owner records are kept up-to-date, and that rabies vaccination records are current.
- Notify pet-owners who violate the Pet Policy. If the violation persists, refer the matter to the Member Relations Committee (see OGHC Dispute Resolution Policy).
- Respond to member complaints regarding pet behaviour. If the problem cannot be resolved, refer the complaint to the Member Relations Committee.
- Report to the Board at least twice annually, and to the membership at least once annually at the Annual General meeting.
- Resolve any pet-related concerns not dealt with in this policy. Propose future amendments to the Pet Policy, as necessary.
TYPE OF PETS ALLOWED, AND NUMBERS
- One dog is allowed per unit. This dog is expected to remain calm in the presence of adults, children and other dogs.
- Aggressive dogs are not allowed. See City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law (By-law 92/2013), Section 7 – Prohibited Dog Breeds.
- A maximum of two cats is allowed per unit.
- One cage for small animals (hamsters, guinea-pigs etc.), or birds is allowed per unit.
- One aquarium is allowed per unit, maximum capacity 10 gallons.
- Exotic pets or contained dangerous animals are not allowed. See City of Winnipeg Responsible Pet Ownership By-law (By-law 92/2013), Section 33 / Schedule A – List of Prohibited Animals.
- Prior to moving into a unit, dog or cat owners must provide the Pet Committee / OGHC office with proof that their pet has been sterilized (spayed or neutered) if over 6 months of age. A copy of the animal’s current rabies vaccination certificate will also be required.
- Dog or cat owners must update their animals’ rabies vaccinations annually, and provide copies to the Pet Committee / OGHC office. If annual rabies vaccination is not recommended by their veterinarian, the pet owner must provide a written statement to this effect.
- Owners are responsible at all times for the humane care and treatment of their pets.
CONTROL OF DOGS AND CATS OUTSIDE UNITS
- Members who own pets are expected to obey all City of Winnipeg By-laws related to pets. The OGHC office will keep up-to-date copies of all the City of Winnipeg Bylaws related to animals and these can be consulted by members during office hours.
- When outside the owner’s unit, dogs and cats must be leashed or harnessed and under the owner’s control.
- Pets are not allowed in the indoor common areas, or in the outdoor common spaces, except when in transit to the nearest street exit or in transit to another residence in the Co-op. An exception to this rule is made for service animals.
- Cats and dogs must not be allowed to urinate or defecate outside their owner’s unit, on walkways, in the outdoor common areas, or at the entrances to the co-op property. If this occurs, owners must immediately clean up after their pet.
- Litter boxes and animal cages in units must be kept clean to minimize odours, insect infestation or sanitation concerns. Disposal of litter must be done in accordance with the OGHC’s Garbage Policy.
PETS BELONGING TO MEMBERS’ GUESTS
Members are responsible for guest pets while inside their unit and on co-op property.
Members may temporarily care for an animal (that meets the Co-op’s criteria) for a maximum of 14 days per calendar year. Pet sitting for longer periods of time (or greater frequency) must be approved by the Pet Committee, in advance. The care of, and responsibilities for, guest pets are the same as for any member’s own pets.
- Any member with a complaint about a pet’s behaviour (e.g. aggression) should first make a reasonable attempt to resolve the issue with the pet owner through a respectful discussion.
- If the problem persists, the member should initially contact the Pet Committee for advice.
- If the problem cannot be resolved, the Pet Committee will refer the member’s complaint to the Member Relations Committee (see OGHC Dispute Resolution Policy.
- Members shall be responsible for any damages caused by their pet(s) to any unit (interior or exterior), or to any member’s personal property, or to common areas of the co-op, or to any co-op property.
- Members shall repair any such damage caused by their pet(s) according to a plan pre-approved by the Co-op Board, or delegate (eg. the Maintenance Committee).
- Failure to do so will result in the Co-op carrying out the necessary repairs and charging the member responsible for the costs incurred.