Heavy dog is caught in scales of justice Neighbors file suit against owner

March 13, 1992|By John Singh | John Singh,Knight-Ridder News Service

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Consider life in Charleston Place, one of Boca Raton's most noteworthy communities. Last year, Time magazine gushed over the swanky subdivision, filled with 109 pastel-colored row houses and landscaped streets.

It's a great life if you're a person. But it may not be fit for a dog. At least, not a fat one.

Or so says Charleston Place's homeowners' association in a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court against resident Mindy Felinton.

It claims that Ms. Felinton's 5-year-old mutt, Lucky, is tipping the scales at more than 30 pounds -- too fat to fit in the neighborhood under the association's bylaws, which were intended to keep out bigger breeds.

The group wants Ms. Felinton to get rid of her mutt.

Yesterday, Ms. Felinton, her attorney, two representatives from the association and a court reporter met in the offices of Boca North Animal Hospital and Pet Inn to weigh Lucky.

If he weighed less than 30 pounds, the case would be over. If he weighed more -- well, Judge Edward Fine probably isn't looking forward to days of testimony about Lucky.

The result of a 20-minute weighing: inconclusive. Lucky kept moving around, and the scale read a low of 29.4 and a high of 31.5 pounds.

The results will be given to Judge Fine when and if the case goes to court.

The suit was prompted when one of Ms. Felinton's neighbors complained that Lucky was too fat. The battle has been going on since August.

"It's so petty," said Ms. Felinton, also an attorney, who last year formed a business that sets up trust funds for pets.

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