and Video Courtesy of FOX 30 Action News
By Jenna Bourne
November 28, 2015
An Arlington woman is fighting to keep her dog after
her Homeowners Association filed a lawsuit demanding she get rid of him.
Bianca Raphael admits her dog bit her
neighbor but said it happened after that neighbor barged
into her house uninvited.
She said she was opening her front door with her dog
Chan Chan on a leash when her next door neighbor’s dog
burst into her home.
Chan Chan started attacking the dog, and Raphael said
that’s when her neighbor chased her dog inside.
"She pushed through the door and started beating my dog over the head.
He had a black eye,” said Raphael.
Raphael shared a photo with Action News Jax of Chan Chan’s bruising and
photos of blood spots on the floor.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report shows
Raphael's neighbor told police her thumb was fractured while
trying to pry Chan Chan off her dog.
Less than a month later, Raphael got a letter from an
attorney representing the Hillcrest Homeowners Association.
It said the HOA has determined her dog to be a nuisance and
she had 48 hours to get rid of him.
She didn’t. Now they’ve filed a lawsuit against her.
“This didn’t happen because my dog broke any rules.
It happened because her dog wasn’t on a leash and ran into my home, and
then she pushed her way into my home as well,” said Raphael.
Action News Jax Law & Safety Expert Dale Carson said it doesn’t look
good for Chan Chan.
“You may have the greatest dog in the world, but if someone in this
board says that that dog is misbehaving and is a nuisance, then it is a
nuisance. You don’t have any right to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, my
dog’s not a nuisance,’” said Carson.
Raphael said she’s not giving up without a fight.
“He’s like my child and, you know, he makes me feel safe here,” she
Her neighbor, who got bitten, has moved out. She has not returned Action
News Jax’s phone call trying to get her side of the story.
McCabe Law Group, the law firm representing the HOA, turned down our
request for an interview.
First Service Residential, the company that manages the Hillcrest HOA,
hasn’t responded to our emails.