A small house installed by the group of animal protectors Buridogs, which operates in the Buritis neighborhood, in the West Region of Belo Horizonte, is causing a clash. The volunteers placed the house on the outside of a corner of a condominium, but it was removed twice by the residents and the space administrator.
On social media, the group published a post about the incident, stating that the support house for strays was arbitrarily removed. “We regret that our neighborhood has residents so entrenched in their own problems, unable to give up a piece of wall and a dirt floor for abandoned animals,” the statement read.
When contacted, the condominium manager, who asked not to be identified, informed that Buridogs volunteers were not authorized to install the little house on the site.
“ a condominium. Any decision needs to be debated in assembly and, with a majority of votes, approved. This was never done. I am the manager of other condominiums in the neighborhood and, once, they (from the Buridogs group) got in touch, asking to put this little house in the garden. I said I needed to take a vote and I even made room for them to participate in the meeting, but they ended up giving up, saying that it was too bureaucratic”, declared the manager.
One of the Buridogs representatives confirmed that he had not asked to install the little house on the site, because the group has been doing this work in the neighborhood for some time and has never had problems in similar situations.
“We already have houses scattered throughout the neighborhood and we’ve never had any problems before. We thought it was something easy to do. When the manager got in touch talking to participate in the general assembly and defend the installation of the little house, that meeting hadn’t even been scheduled”, he argued. One of the volunteers, who also declined to be identified.
The condominium manager said that the first time the little house was installed, the space for the dog did not have a Buridogs identification plate. A resident removed and kept the structure inside the condominium.
The volunteers then went to the concierge to get the little house and put it back in the same place, this time with a band and a chain to hold it in place.
“I gave a deadline for removing the space (referring to the little house) from the place, since I had no authorization. They didn’t go for it, and we put it away again. That’s what they posted on social media. We were not arbitrary. We asked for the space to be removed, but nothing was done”, reported the union.
The volunteers informed that the house would be removed on the scheduled day, but that they depended on a larger car to remove it. When the group arrived at the site, the structure had already been dismantled, and the chain had been broken.
The manager reported that the residents of the condominium in question were complaining about the smell and the amount of dog feces in the place. In addition, they reiterated that the condominium space.
“In the week that the house was in the garden, two residents contacted me and asked for an extermination of the entire space because of rats. It may not be related, but that’s what happened. There is not a public place, in the condominium. Whoever maintains the place is the condominium,” she said.
Buridogs said that the installation at the site was made because other residents of the region were already using the space to leave water and food for other strays. The group also emphasized that they put food and that the food scraps that caused the bad smell were already there before the installation.
“We thought that there was already a recognized space for the animals, and they already went there to get food and water. That’s why we installed the little house there. including the back wall, that is, it does not interfere with residents entering and leaving the condominium,” said the group.
The little house was reinstalled in another space, on the walking path of Rua Henrique Badar Portugal, in Buritis. The resident Leonardo Vieira, 42 years old, usually passes by the place in the company of the dogs Fil and Billy and is not bothered by the structure. “There are some puppies that are loose here and depend on the house. She doesn’t bother at all,” he synthesized.
According to the lawyer specialized in real estate law Tiago Cunha, the law establishes that any use of private space, even for the installation of houses for community dogs, must be authorized by the owners.
“In this case (of Buritis), it is the supervisor’s duty to say ‘no’ to install the houses, in the common and private areas of the condominium, without proper approval by the residents’ assembly”, he adds.
“Technically, the garden of the building, if inside the land of the retreat, is private. Public from the sidewalk to the outside. You cannot place strange installations in the private space. And the city hall itself, in the law that regulates public space, does not allow placing there in public space. It could cause accidents, a blind or elderly person could fall. The public space must be free for people to walk around”, he commented.
The use of public space is regulated by several laws, including the Federal Constitution itself, the Organic Law of the Municipality and the Code of Postures of the Municipality.
A possible solution to this issue, says Tiago Cunha, would be the creation of a municipal law that establishes adequate areas for the housing of dogs, with limits that take into account the safety of the animals. This policy could be coordinated jointly by the Municipal Urban Regulation Department together with the Environment Department, he concludes.