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Will new ordinance have dog lovers howling?

beagle-puppyNumerous cases of pet hoarding and cruelty to animals have been in headlines of late, and one city has decided to take a stand on the issue. It is likely, however, to have dog lovers howling.

The city of Meridian has adopted a new ordinance limiting dog ownership to three animals per household.

The Meridian Star reports that Councilman Randy Hammon said people should be mindful of what their neighbors are going through when they have too many dogs on their property.

The new policy also limits the time people can keep newborn puppies. Hammon said the city is no place for dog breeding operations.

“They are going to have to grow up, get fewer pets,” Hammon said. “We are not in a city where people need to be raising dogs.”

The new law says anyone violating the rules will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Fines range from $50 to $1,000, with a possible jail term of up to 90 days.

Asked if a family that has a fourth or even fifth dog will have to get rid of them, Hammon said, “Absolutely. It’s not going to happen overnight; it’s going to happen when it becomes an issue with a neighbor and that neighbor reports it.”

Cats were not included in the ordinance, he said, because they aren’t as big a problem, particularly in terms of noise. However if a problem arises later, he would consider introducing restrictions on cats.

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