For dog owners, their pets are part of their families. They treat them like family and love them like children. But now, families in Easley, S.C., with a large number of fur-covered kids are at risk as the City Council voted to put a limit on the number of dogs residents can own.
"To limit the amount of dogs that people have, I spent a lot of money on my animals, and if you try to make me get rid of them, who's going to compensate me for all of that? Who's going to compensate me for all the money I've spent on my animals? They're like my children," said Linda Hughes to the council.
Hughes, according to her neighbor, James Carpenter, has about 40 dogs on her property in kennels that were approved by the council. Carpenter said that he's negatively affected by Hughes' dogs.
"You are dealing with people's animals, and they do love their animals; but at the same time, when their love for animals and their behavior affects my quality of life, my tranquility, we become upset, when we feel like they're stepping on our rights," said Carpenter.
At the Oct. 13 meeting, the City Council approved the first reading of the ordinance in a five to two vote. The new ordinance would limit the number of dogs allowed at a home to five.
The council did agree that there should be an amendment to allow time for owners to find homes when their dogs have new litters.
The second and final reading is scheduled for Nov. 10.
Council member Brian Garrison said that typically, an ordinance would go into effect immediately, but they'll likely discuss giving a grace period for this one to give people time to find homes for dogs if they exceed the new limit.
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