WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)- There’s every indication tonight that residents at three mobile home parks in Fargo and West Fargo may have to get rid of their pets. Specifically people living in the Brookwood, Countryside and Riviera Heights communities will no longer be able to have dogs considered dangerous breeds. That includes pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds and huskies just to name a few. The mobile home parks were just sold to new owners but some neighbors have been calling our Whistleblower Hotline with concerns.
Meet Mollie. She's a Staffordshire terrier. She lives with Mark who didn't want us to use his real name. They all live in the Brookwood Mobile Home Park for now.
"They're part of the family. Most people consider their pet’s part of the family," says a longtime Brookwood resident who wanted to stay anonymous.
We say ‘for now’ because their park has been sold and they now have to sign a new lease for the month of October but that lease bans dogs like Mollie. In fact, the lease spells out what they call ‘dangerous breeds’ and which ones specifically will not be allowed.
"The dogs I have, they're not dangerous," says the resident.
But one man in Brookwood is trying to put a stop to this idea. Travis Laube showed us a new lease he says he got from the leasing office. He also took to Facebook, posting screenshots of what was inside. On top of that, hes been reaching out to the city and even lawmakers for help. But he says there's not a whole lot that can be done since the mobile home park is privately owned.
We did some digging to see if Fargo and West Fargo have any policies when it comes to owning certain breeds of dogs. Neither has a specific policy banning them but if your dog is deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous there's specific protocol the owners might have to follow, including not allowing the dog outside during certain times. Officials with the city tell us there is no ban on any breeds, it has to do with any signs of violence by the dog to any human or animal.
As for Mollie, uncertainty fills her future. But you can bet, her owners will likely move before having to get rid of their dog.
"You just don't discard part of your family," says the resident.
We brought these concerns to the new owners of the mobile home park. They say that legally their hands are tied, pointing the finger at insurance companies and governmental agencies that have named these breeds as dangerous. Adding, insurance providers refuse to insure any community if there are, ‘vicious breeds’ in the park. They also said it's illegal to grandfather anyone in.
However, they did say pets over 40 pounds are allowed as long as the owner is able to show liability insurance and of course, it can’t be one of the listed breeds. So point blank, what it comes down to for these residents is they either have to find a new home for their dogs if they're included in the dangerous breed list or they have to move.
As for the residents who have not gotten a copy of the new lease in the mail yet, officials with the new ownership tell us the last leases were just mailed out yesterday.
You can find the official statement from officials with Havenpark Capital below:
“We understand the concern, as several of Havenpark’s leadership and staff have shelter dogs we consider part of our families. This is not a Havenpark created rule- it’s one we’re legally required to enforce.
Legally, our hands are tied on this issue, as are the hands of every professional management company across the US. Insurance companies and governmental agencies have named 12-14 breeds which they consider dangerous and which they say should not be allowed in an open living format such as a mobile home park. As such, insurance providers refuse to insure any community if there are vicious breeds in the park and if they find someone does have one after the fact they will drop coverage for the entire community. It’s also illegal under Fair Housing Laws to make exceptions or to grandfather anyone in.”
You can find a link to our previous story on the rent increase residents will now be facing below: