Stevenage woman faces eviction over pet rabbits Smudge, Fudge and Tinky Winkie

Alison Fishpool with one of her pet rabbits and a guinea pig

Alison Fishpool with one of her pet rabbits and a guinea pig - Credit: Archant

Animal-lover Alison Fishpool has said she could lose her home if she doesn’t get rid of the four rescued rabbits and guinea pigs she keeps in her garden.

Two of Alison's rabbits Smudge and Fudge.

Two of Alison's rabbits Smudge and Fudge. - Credit: Archant

Alison has been told by Stevenage Borough Council that ‘personal items’ are not allowed to be kept in the communal garden in Archer Road she shares with her neighbours.

Her three rabbits – Smudge, Fudge and Tinky Winkie – as well as guinea pig Oscar live in hutches and she says they are loved by everyone who shares the garden.

She rents the house from a landlord who has taken over the lease from the council, but communal areas still come under the authority’s jurisdiction.

The devastated 43-year-old said: “I have been told I have to evict the rabbits.

“My neighbours say that I should be allowed to keep the rabbits and I think the whole thing is a massive waste of public money.

“I was originally told that I could keep them in the garden, my neighbours love them and five of them have written to the council saying they should be able to stay.

Most Read

“I have been told by the vets that because they have health conditions they would not be able to be rehomed if I gave them up.

“My four small rescued pets don’t have a voice, so I owe it to them to fight this and hopefully win.”

Alison told the Comet her landlady has given her permission to stay in the property and regarded her as a good tenant.

She thinks the council is discriminating against her because other ‘personal items’ are kept in the garden to make it look nice.

The back garden is entered into Stevenage in Bloom every year and has a number of ornamental items in it.

She said: “This is an issue of discrimination as the back part of the communal garden contains a lot of ‘personal belongings’ such as garden ornaments, garden furniture, bird boxes, planted containers.

“The council cannot treat two parts of the communal garden differently, they can’t have one rule for one part of the garden and not for the other!”

SBC have said they do not have the power to evict Alison as she is not a tenant of theirs.

A spokeswoman for the borough council said: “The resident is not a tenant, she is sub-letting from one of our leaseholders.

“We will only consider granting permission for pets to be kept within resident’s homes – not in the communal areas which belong to the council and are for the enjoyment of all residents.

“We’ve asked both the resident and leaseholder to remove the pets from the communal areas within 28 days.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter