Devils Lake may limit pet ownershipWhen the Devils Lake City Commission proposed a law this past fall to limit the number of dogs or cats in a household, a group of pet owners rallied in protest.
By: By Kevin Bonham, Forum News Service, The Jamestown Sun
When the Devils Lake City Commission proposed a law this past fall to limit the number of dogs or cats in a household, a group of pet owners rallied in protest.
During a public hearing, one displayed a poster featuring pictures of four pets, with the caption, “Which 2 Shall I Kill?”
Commissioners tabled the issue, referring it to a committee for additional study.
That committee is close to submitting a recommendation, according to Devils Lake Fire Chief Jim Moe, committee chairman.
“Limiting the numbers of pets in a household might be something we still might consider,” he said, “with some grandfathering in the ordinance. We’re not going to ask anybody to give up their pets.”
The committee sought guidance from other North Dakota cities that have pet ordinances, including Grand Forks, Minot, Valley City and Jamestown.
While the cities have limits, the laws vary slightly.
In Grand Forks, for instance, the law allows for no more than two dogs six months or older in a single-family residence or no more than one to a unit in any multi-family building with four or more units.
In East Grand Forks, Minn., the ordinance limits residences to no more than two dogs or two cats over the age of four months. It allows one exception: a third dog may be kept if it is used by law enforcement agencies, such as one trained to sniff out drugs.
Jamestown doesn’t limit the number of pets, but residents with three or more cats and/or dogs must have kennel licenses, which are an extra cost on top of the regular pet licenses.
The tabled Devils Lake ordinance was similar to the one in Jamestown. It would have limited households to three pets, including a maximum of two dogs.
But Mayor Dick Johnson is not convinced that’s the answer.
“What we need is a way to make pet owners responsible,” he said. “The person with one dog, if he or she is going to allow that thing to bark all the time, that’s not responsible. Another pet owner may have three or more dogs and you’d never know they have any.”
The Devils Lake committee might reach a final recommendation when it meets next week, Moe said. That recommendation then will go back to the City Commission for consideration.