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Neighbours put dog feces in her car, B.C. woman alleges

Grudge over neighbour's dog led to lewd gestures, driveby insults, a bag of feces left in a vehicle and a matching pair of $5,000 claims.
A woman is seen walking a dog in this stock image.

A Kelowna woman raised a stink in small claims court alleging that her neighbours left dog feces in her car.

Shelly Stefanishion lived five doors down from Bradley Baldwin and Donna Lee Power, also known as Donna Powers, when their relationship hit the fan in the summer of 2021.

Both parties filed claims against each over for $5,000 in damages.

The Civil Resolution Tribunal heard the conflict began on June 28, 2021, after Stefanishion took her neighbour's dog out of its home. She said she had the owner's permission and did so because the dog was overheating inside.

However, Baldwin and Power countered that she had misled the owner about the dog being in distress.

Things went awry the next day when the three had a verbal confrontation about the dog at a nearby beach while Stefanishion was walking her dog, Bailey.

Baldwin and Power claim Stefanishion approached them and attempted to justify her actions in taking the dog out of the home.

During the confrontation, Bailey allegedly bit Power, which they admitted angrily responding to.

However, Stefanishion claims it was Baldwin and Power who approached her, yelling and swearing, and that the dog never bit Power. Instead, she suggests that Power gave herself a bruise.

The dog fight continued long past the confrontation.

In late June, a bag of dog feces was left in Stefanishion's car. She submitted a photo of the evidence.

Baldwin and Power denied that it was them, blaming another park resident.

"There is no direct evidence that the respondents put the dog feces in her car," said tribunal member Eric Regehr, who heard the case. "I find that she has not proven that the respondents put the dog feces in her car."

The incident prompted her to keep a log of interactions with the neighbours, including accusations that they would yell insults each time they drove past her home, frequently calling her a liar.

"They admit to calling Ms. Stefanishion a liar 'on numerous occasions,'" Regehr said. "The respondents say they did so to 'shame' Ms. Stefanishion. They also say there was nothing wrong with calling Ms. Stefanishion a liar because it was true."

Regehr said a Telus employee confirmed such an incident, describing it as "very intimidating."

"She claims that these actions were harassment and a nuisance," Regehr said.

Stefanishion saw a psychologist due to the situation who told her it was causing mental health issues.

For their part, Baldwin and Power told the tribunal that these claims were essentially a load of crock because it was Stefanishion who was a nuisance who tried to turn the neighbourhood against them and regularly insulted them back by calling them losers or making lewd gestures.

In November, a common landlord intervened by writing to Baldwin, telling them to stop communicating with Stefanishion or face eviction.

Regehr dismissed Baldwin and Power's claim that Stefanishion was spreading "malicious lies," which made living in the community difficult.

He found Baldwin and Power's behaviour "clearly unreasonable" and fined them $500.