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Town hounds woman over puppy-sale sign

Tina Geile of Jupiter, Fla., defies town officials over sign in her yard to sell a puppy (courtesy: Jupiter Courier)

JUPITER, Fla. – A woman is in the doghouse with local officials in this South Florida town who say it’s illegal for her to post a sign in her own yard to sell a puppy.

Tina Geile is being hounded by the town of Jupiter, Fla., which says advertising items for sale on one’s own property is a violation of local codes.

“I’m 64 years old, and my home is one of the nicest kept homes in the subdivision,” Geile told the Jupiter Courier. “There’s signs everywhere here on weekends, for garage sales, for a ‘come to our church,’ for babysitting, and for some reason Jupiter keeps getting in my face about a stinking little sign to sell a dog.”

Geile is trying to sell the miniature dachsund on behalf of her daughter.

According to Frank Melillo, head of code enforcement, signs other than real estate and open-house signs are not permitted on a continual basis, and there’s a limit of two garage sales each year.

“If Tina were to have a garage sale and sell her puppy, it would be OK,” he told the paper.

Geile is refusing to heel, and last weekend adorned her driveway with more placards, telling officials to stop “harassing a 64-year-old woman” and asking for an apology from the town.

The issue is getting mixed reaction from area residents.

“Code enforcement is so retarded,” said Mildred Bartokumus. “You purchase a home and you can’t even put a sign in your own yard. The most stupid thing I’ve ever heard.”

“The town’s rules are reasonable and designed to protect the neighborhood from commercial blight,” said Gary Tortora. “Unfortunately, permitting just one small sign leads to abuse by others who want to sell merchandise from their home.”

“I served on the Town Council of Jupiter from 1975-1981 and, even though it was much smaller then, we found real issues to deal with, such as keeping taxes low, living within our means, dealing with growth,” stated Jim Hill. “We would not have bothered about someone advertising a puppy for sale with a sign on their own property. I guess we were so good that now the council and staff can deal with that very dangerous woman who put a sign in her own yard!

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