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Don't feel sorry for Ibolya Balazs

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Time: 3:35 PM

Today's News-Times article on the illegal dog kennel on Main Street doesn't quite tell the complete story on Ibolya Balazs operation.

Complete with a warm and fuzzy photo of her with her puppies at her City Ale House bar, Balazs' seems like the victim in
Dirk Perrefort's write-up.
Balazs said she would like to work with the city and is looking to either sell or find foster homes for the dogs. She added that she typically sells the dogs for between $500 and $700 each, depending on its age, breed and sex.

She has six Labrador retrievers, four dachshunds and four papillon puppies, Balazs said, adding that the papillons were fathered by a Canadian champion.

"I know they want to push me out," she said, "but I have no place to go."

Balazs, who said she holds a kennel license in Waterbury but not in Danbury, said she treats the dogs like her children, cooking them chicken soup and rice on a daily basis.

"I only eat good organic foods and I give the same thing to my dogs," she said, adding that she's been breeding the dogs for about three years. "I love my dogs. I've had dogs all my life."

Balazs added that she may try to appeal the city's order, or apply for a zoning variance.

If this is all you knew about Balazs' situation, then there's a good chance that your heart would go out for her...but trust me, don't shed a tear for this person.

Here's the originals of Balazs' problem, reported accurately by Mark Langlois over at the Danbury Patch:
Neighbors started complaining about the dog odor coming from 253 Main St., a year ago, said Robert Steinberg, who owns the building next door at 255 Main St. He complained to city officials on behalf of his tenants.

In the last 30 days, both city and state officials have cited the property owner for problems related to raising 25 puppies in a downtown apartment.

The pet owner is under a city cease and desist order for running an illegal dog kennel in a second-floor apartment. On a hot summer day, the puppies hang out near the windows and people could see them from Main Street, Steinberg said. He said it was an open secret.

[...]

Steinberg's building is next door to Balazs' building. His second floor tenant is Irene's Tailoring & Alterations.

"When it's hot, you can smell the dogs," Steinberg said. The puppies could be heard barking through the wall on the second floor of Steinberg's building Wednesday. The tailoring shop was closed. "She has brides and their families up here. She has to play music."

Danbury Fire Marshal James Johnson said the building at 253 Main St., doesn't meet fire code and is a threat to the buildings on either side. The stairway from the ground floor up to the second and third floor doesn't have fire-rated walls or doors. A fire that starts on the ground floor would quickly burn its way to the third floor.

Johnson said the second floor of 253 Main St., is heated by space heaters, and one had a 100-foot extension cord that was hot to the touch. Both the second and third floors are partially or entirely gutted, respectively.

The second floor is zoned for an apartment. It is partially gutted, and would not meet city requirements for an apartment. Zoning on Main Street does not allow a kennel.

Members of the UNIT, the city's unified neighborhood inspection team, visited the building in mid-November, said Shawn Stillman, director of the UNIT. He said he'd had complaints about the dog spell for months, but the owner wouldn't let him inspect the house.

Stillman said when he finally inspected the apartment in November, it smelled so bad of urine and feces he had to breath through his mouth. He said the dog feces and urine was on some paper, but a lot of it was on the gutted apartment's subflooring.

When the city workers found 25 or 26 puppies in the apartment, they called it a zoning violation. In the Nov. 17, cease and desist order, the Zoning Enforcement order reads, "A dog kennel is being operated on the 2nd floor of this building. The approved use for the 2nd floor is a 2 bedroom apartment with a full bathroom." That puts the owner, Balazs, in a bind, because the state Department of Agriculture oversees the issuance of kennel licenses. Balazs doesn't have one in Danbury. State inspectors from the Animal Control Division visited the residence last week, and put a quarantine on the animals for the next two weeks because of the canine parvovirus. A Danbury veterinarian alerted the state to the presence of the virus. Balazs can't sell or move the dogs, because one or more of them may be suffering from the canine parvovirus. The disease was recognized in 1978, and it spread worldwide within two years.

If all your information came from the News-Times article, you wouldn't know about the details of Balazs' situation, such as the smell of urine and feces all over the illegal kennel, the constant barking from her dogs, the complaints from her neighbors FOR MONTHS, her refusal to allow the city U.N.I.T to inspect her home, etc.

In short, don't feel sorry for Balazs' plight...in fact, hope that this illegal kennel is shut down for good.

posted by ctblogger at 3:35 PM | Permalink|

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