Judge shuts down 'nuisance' puppy day care centre in Durbanville

Judge shuts down ‘nuisance’ puppy day care centre in Durbanville


Cape Town – A Durbanville puppy day care centre is urgently looking for a new premises after a judge ordered the current establishment closed with immediate effect on Friday.

Western Cape High Court judge Robert Henney ruled Puppy Town had clearly breached the provisions of the City’s development management scheme, the noise control regulations and animal by-laws, butt the grounds for the interdict were “on the basis of the respondents creating a common law nuisance”.

Puppy Town, which is on a residential property is operated by single mother Jolindi Verster, has been the subject of numerous complaints for years by neighbour Mark Christopher.

Christopher told the court that he works from home as a pastor, and requires a peaceful environment to write, research, study and counsel his congregants.

In his application, Christopher said Puppy Town operated between 6.30am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and that at any given time there were up to 17 dogs present on the property during business hours.

Before Christopher moved into the area in 2015, he and his family viewed the property over a weekend. He said at that time it was quiet, since Puppy Town operates only during the week and on Saturday mornings.

He told the court that he had specifically asked the previous owner if there were any dogs barking in the neighbourhood and adjoining properties and that he was concerned about this issue due to his need for a quiet working environment.

In February 2016, after having made several attempts to get Puppy Town to limit the noise coming from the property, he reported them to the City.

These complaints continued up until July 2019, and were in the form of emails, telephone calls, Facebook messages, direct interactions with City officials and letters sent by his attorney to the City.

The complaints led to an unsuccessful attempt by the City to prosecute and finally to Christopher instructing his lawyers to sue.

Speaking to the Argus, Verster said: “Puppy Town had to close down with immediate effect due to the court order. This decision has caused four South Africans to become instantly unemployed. We are urgently looking for a new premises.”

Meanwhile, the City’s safety and security portfolio committee is currently reviewing its animal keeping policy with a view to updating it.

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Cape Argus

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