Local News

December 5, 2012

Couple still in home despite dog-departure deadline

PLATTSBURGH — Robert and Theresa Duell have refused to comply with the “no-pets” policy that says they must get rid of their dog or be evicted from their mobile home.

But the landlord says the eviction process will go forward.

“This is a debate about adhering to strict rules and regulations of a mobile-home park versus keeping a pet, and these rules are being applied equally to everyone in the park,” said Joseph Mucia, the attorney for Phyllis Gregory, the landlord of Abenaki Mobile Home Park.


The elderly Duells have lived in the park for 30 years. They were told recently that they must either get rid of their dog, Tiny, an 8-pound Chihuahua that they’ve had for the past four years, or move out.

Mr. Duell, 80, says his wife, who is 78 and suffers from severe hearing loss, needs the dog to warn her of visitors when he is not home.

They have a note from a doctor saying that the dog helps Mrs. Duell by alerting her when people come to the door.

But when Mr. Duell went to pay the rent on Nov. 1, he was told by Gregory that she would not take the payment and that they had to be out of the park or get rid of the dog by Dec. 1.

Since their mobile home is a 1973 model, it is out of compliance and cannot be moved to another location.

“We have no place to go, and it’s getting cold out now,” Mr. Duell said.

Heartsick over the thought of parting with their beloved Tiny, the Duells decided to challenge Gregory’s missive.

“We been here 30 years, and we never bothered anybody,” Mr. Duell said. “She (Gregory) always told us that we were the best tenants and never caused any problems.”

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