Mumbai: 'Neighbours are driving us out over our pet dog,' say Vikhroli family

Updated: Jun 08, 2020, 08:02 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Vikhroli family alleges that neighbours are harassing them; bldg residents say the canine is unwell and stinks so bad even the floor above is affected

Fraskin and Joel Polekad with their pug Jimmy who has developed a rash on his body. Pic/Rajesh Gupta
Fraskin and Joel Polekad with their pug Jimmy who has developed a rash on his body. Pic/Rajesh Gupta

A 62-year-old woman and her 19-year-old son have alleged that the residents of their building in Vikhroli East have been hounding them out of their flat over their sickly dog. They had just shifted to the rented flat, as they had to sell their own house for the treatment of the woman's husband. They alleged that the society members are harassing them claiming that their pet stinks.

The society members have, however, said the pet, who is unwell, is a potential threat to the spread of infection and all the neighbours on the floor are troubled by the stink.

Fraskin Joseph Polekad lost her husband Joseph in February 2020 due to a kidney issue. The Polekad family had sold their house to pay for Joseph's treatment. Soon after Joseph's death, their seven-year-old pug Jimmy developed rashes on his body. "Despite the lockdown, we rushed to the hospital and got him some medicines. But, there was little smell coming from him," Fraskin said. "This has becwome a huge issue in the building," she added.

Fraskin lives with son Joel, who has learning disabilities, at Kannamwar Nagar Building no. 25. "We recently got a call from our agent who got us the flat, telling us that our pug had become a nuisance to the society and they either wanted us to leave the dog or leave the society. This started exactly 10 days ago and kept escalating," Joel added.

After, realising things were not getting better, a family friend, Seema Verma, started checking for flats in Vasai. "It had become impossible to live in the society. Everyone was treating the family like they are criminals," said Seema. "The society claimed the family lives in dirty and unhygienic surroundings. I don't understand what's the harm in taking care of dogs as family. Can't we have that much compassion," asked Seema.

After spending R4 to R5 lakh on her husband's treatment, Fraskin is left with little money which she has now put into renting a flat in Vasai. "I don't know how things are going to get in future". Fraskin has a heart problem and is on heavy antibiotics for infection, limiting her movement.

'Their accusation is false'
Pramod Pathak, secretary of the building, said, "The floors above and below theirs are facing a lot of trouble. The dog stinks so much that you just can't sit at home. As it's a lockdown, there are many elderly people who are at home and this poses a risk for them," he said.

"All we told them was to get medicines for the infection but now they are alleging that we are forcing them to leave the building. This is false."

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