MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A Mount Pleasant woman says her homeowners' association is threatening to take her dog away because of a neighborhood pit bull ban, but the owner says her dog is not a pit bull.
About three months ago, Nancy Butler received a letter with a notice that her dog could be taken.
"Bee is exceptionally special I guess he just has that look about him and I know now that people don't really like him and that's just too bad," Butler said.
That letter was from her Homeowners Association or HOA in Seaside Farms. It says the association has "learned that you are keeping a pit bull at your residence" and goes on to say it is a "violation of the covenants."
"He's never bitten anybody, he's never been outside the yard," Butler said.
Butler has three other dogs and she says she keeps them in the house or in her backyard.
Another letter advised her to provide a signed statement from a" veterinary doctor" that Bee is not a pit bull or legal action could be taken to remove the dog.
"I got three from three different veterinarians and two different clinics," Butler said.
The papers from the vet indicate the dog is a mix of breeds.
CEO of the Charleston Animal Society Joe Elmore says pit bulls can include a variety of dogs it's not specific.
"Pit bull is a slang term, the American Kennel Club doesn't recognize it as a breed of dog and when you do a DNA test it is not recognized as a breed of dog," Elmore said.
He advises HOAs to base rules on dog behavior and not on what dogs look like.
"A number of insurance companies that used to ban breeds have done away with that now and that's what we want to do, and also help the association do what it's trying to do, make for a safe and healthy neighborhood," Elmore said.
As for Butler, she's willing to do whatever it takes to keep Bee.
"I think Bee and I are a good pair we get along just fine," Butler said. "I'm going to fight these people because I want to keep this dog because I love him, I absolutely adore him."
She hasn't heard back from the HOA since she sent her signed statements from the three veterinarians.
"I would imagine with Bee this particular dog, it has been abused in the past in its early years, when it was rescued by Ms. Butler she treated it with love and compassion and they're great companions, "Elmore said. "Here it is a companion to this elderly widow I don't think anybody would want to force them apart."
A request for comment from the Seaside Farms HOA was not immediately returned.