Archway dog in antisocial behaviour battle over squeaky duck
A pint-sized pooch has been accused of antisocial behaviour by housing officials after it played with a squeaky duck in a communal garden.
Owner Chris Ford, 60, of Bredgar Road, Archway, received a letter from Homes for Islington (HfI) about his 20-month-old miniature Yorkshire terrier LouLou in September.
It followed a complaint from a neighbour about her playing with the tiny toy on the green outside the block of flats during the afternoons.
Numerous meetings with HfI’s antisocial behaviour (ASB) team ensued as well as mediation sessions at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court – including one with the neighbour concerned – but the matter was never resolved.
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Despite assurances the toy would stay inside, Mr Ford claims he was threatened with an Asbo (antisocial behaviour order) and told LouLou could be banned from using the green, which he brought back into use after it had spent years overgrown.
And it’s not the first time that Mr Ford has had dealings with HfI’s ASB team – in April it wrongly accused him of leaving dog mess in the garden.
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After asking council leader Catherine West to take up his case as ward councillor, HfI inspected the faeces and found it to belong to a fox.
But the recent battle has been rumbling on for months and Mr Ford, who is registered disabled with arthritis, remains unsure if he faces any action.
He is also too scared to exercise LouLou on the green in case there is another complaint over the tiniest of noises.
Mr Ford said: “This has tormented me, it has made me ill. Nobody has listened to common sense.
“LouLou doesn’t bark, all she wants to do is play. I’ve spoken to hundreds of people and they can’t believe it.”
Mr Ford also said the whole saga was a waste of time and taxpayers’ money.
Margaret Stephen, 89, one of more than 20 neighbours named on a petition in support of LouLou, said: “I think it’s disgusting. She is a lovely little dog, it’s a pleasure to watch her playing.”
A HfI spokeswoman denied Mr Ford was threatened with an Asbo and said no further action was proposed at present, but did say more mediation was recommended.
She added: “HfI is committed to investigating all complaints of antisocial behaviour and recognises that it is sometimes difficult to balance the views of complainants against those who feel they are being unjustly accused.”