People from all walks of life and dogs have been building relationships since the dawn-of-time and dog ownership has
existed in all cultures, races, climates and economic situations. We should strive to be responsible dog owners by following clean-up ordinances, leash laws, nuisance laws, and other reasonable regulations designed to ensure that dogs and their owners remain respected members of their communities.
What is a limit law? A limit law is a restriction on the number of animals an individual or household may own. Seems simple enough, but these laws are most frequently passed at a city or county level and there is tremendous variability from one community to the next.
While researching limit laws, there seems to be some limits that have been put into place because the problem individual let their dogs roam freely or leaves them outside to bark endlessly. Sometimes there are a number of issues caused by irresponsible pet owners that acts as the catalyst. From information found while researching this article, it seems communities are mostly seeking a quick fix to a problem and that fix is limiting the number of dogs / pets allowed per household.
To many people, the limit of numbers may seem like a good solution to resolve all animal control problems, however the reality is quite different and the limit laws usually create more issues than they solve.
- Limiting the number of dogs (animals) an individual may own is ineffective because it does not address the most important part of the concern which is irresponsible ownership. An irresponsible owner will still let their dogs run, poop in other people's yards and bark long and loud at all hours of the day and night. Regardless of the number of dogs, one, two, three, five or more, the irresponsible owner won't change how they manage their dogs.
- Limit laws are very difficult to enforce and are often evaded by irresponsible animal owners. Many cities require a license for pets, but people that are over the limit are less likely to register their animals which reduces city revenue. Not to mention people that hide the number of animals they have may not be getting proper veterinary care and vaccinations like rabies.
- Limits force responsible, caring owners to surrender "excess" animals to shelters. In a large city, these animals may end up in the city's shelter which is probably already overcrowded, increasing both the shelter population and the euthanasia numbers.
- Most communities already have nuisance laws in place that if properly enforced would likely reduce the animal control issues. Passing new limit laws is lengthy, expensive and puts undue burden on public officials as well as tax payers and doesn't solve the problem of irresponsible owners.
All of us want our neighborhoods to be safe and enjoyable places for people and pets and finding workable, affordable, enforceable solutions can be implemented without resorting to limit laws.
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