Most cities have a law in place that limits the number of animals a household can have. Mine, for example, only allows two dogs maximum. (Yes, now you know, I am a law-violator!) The idea behind instituting a pet limit law is to avoid hoarding, animal cruelty and neglect, noise violations, and sanitation issues. While these concerns are valid and I commend the area councils for caring about the welfare of companion animals, the pet limit law does not actually address these concerns.
The issue here is that the people passing these pet limit laws assume that more animals in the house automatically leads to these violations. Not so! Simply having a lot of animals in one’s house does not immediately mean the animals are not well cared for and are a nuisance to the neighbors. There needs to be actual acts of neglect and an inability to provide for the animals in one’s care for there to be any real violations of neglect. Take a foster home for example. Many wonderful individuals volunteer their time, resources and hearts to help local shelters care for their animals. However, what happens if I have two dogs and am fostering a third? The law is forcing me to not help my local shelter and this therefore directly results in more animals being unnecessarily killed because the shelter does not have sufficient room to care for its animals on its own.
The flip side of this law is also an issue as it assumes everyone is capable of caring for up to two dogs at a time. I personally know of several people who do not have the resources or current know-how to care for even just one dog. The pet limit law does not address this type of individual nor does it protect the animals that are under this individual’s care. Rather, it focuses only on one section of pet owners (the multiple pet people) and punishes both the good and bad within that section. If a person has the resources and is perfectly capable of caring for five dogs and is able to do so without the neighbors being overly burdened by it, then why should they not be able to?
So be proactive! Contact your local representatives and ask them to repeal your local pet limit law. Instead, make sure they have a law (or laws) in place addressing hoarding, animal cruelty and neglect, noise violations, and sanitation so that all companion animals, whether an only child or with multiple siblings, are protected. Individuals who are willing and able to care for multiple animals should be able to while people who are unable to even care for one companion animal should be monitored and reported if they attempt to do so.
I will probably write more on this topic at a later date as it is one that lies close to my heart (obviously, I have three dogs and a cat in my house and am hoping to foster one of the freed greyhounds from the Dairyland Greyhound Park). Please comment/ask questions and I will definitely address them either now or in a later post. Thanks for reading!