Dog groomer Juanita Mennear applies the finishing touches to 12-year-old Kaslo. After 19 years in her current location

Dog groomer Juanita Mennear applies the finishing touches to 12-year-old Kaslo. After 19 years in her current location

Complaints baffle dog groomer

City threatens fines over anonymous claim made against South Surrey business

Juanita Mennear says whoever is making anonymous complaints about her South Surrey dog daycare and grooming business is at best misinformed and at worst, “just nasty.”

For the last 19 years, the single mother has operated Juanita’s Doggy Den with her daughter Jazmin on premises next to her home in the 2100-block of 128 Street.

During that time, Mennear says no one ever complained about the noise from her dog grooming and daycare business, not even when a new subdivision went up close to her house about two years ago.

But in the last month, she says there have been at least three complaints filed with the City of Surrey under the “Animal Noise” bylaw that states “No person shall own, keep or harbour any animal or bird which by its cries unduly disturbs the peace, quiet, rest or tranquility of the surrounding neighbourhood or the public at large.”

A May 3 letter from the city’s legal services department advising Mennear of the complaints says fines can range from $100 to $2,000 for each offence.

“Every day that a violation exists is considered a separate offence,” bylaw enforcement officer Alan Campbell writes.

The letter doesn’t state who made the complaint, but Mennear suspects it may be the same person who posted snarky remarks about her business on various websites that allow anonymous customer reviews.

“I live behind them and they are constantly yelling at the dogs,” one such posting claims (Mennear denies the allegation).

The online remarks were posted about three weeks ago, about the same time that the city started getting complaints.

“We haven’t tried to do anything to bother anybody,” Mennear told Peace Arch News Wednesday (June 6).

“We’re just really upset that someone would try to force us to leave after we’ve been here for so many years.”

Mennear is considering closing down her dog daycare service and has begun looking into selling her property.

“This was supposed to be my one and only house,” she said.

“But we may have no choice.”

Mennear is telling her clients that she will keep her dog grooming business going even if the daycare is closed.

An initial search for an alternate location failed to find anything suitable in the South Surrey area where most of her customers live, Mennear says.

“There isn’t a spot close enough.”

Mennear worries she may have to go to as far away as Langley to find a suitable location.