The Fayetteville Village Board is having second thoughts about a local law that limits pet ownership to three dogs, three cats and three rabbits.
“We have made a situation that is not the best situation to deal with the issue of the barking dog, the excess rooster or all these other things,” Mayor Mark Olson said at Monday’s meeting. “I’ve heard from both sides everywhere I go that they think this law is either not needed or wasn’t done correctly.”
The law was adopted by the board in January and amended on Sept. 24 to put a number on pets village residents can own. The law states that residents must get special permission from the village board if they want to have more than three of the animals deemed domestic: dogs, cats and rabbits. To have any other animal, such as a gerbil, snake or chicken, residents must get consent from the state or the town of Manlius and the village of Fayetteville.
The September amendment limiting pet ownership followed a complaint of seven dogs living at a home on Warren Street and barking into the night, said Code Enforcement Officer Richard Greene. Complaints of roosters on South Street inspired the original law passed in January, he said.
Mayor Olson said people have told him that the law does not resolve issues such as excessive animal noise or feces.
“I’d like to have the law suspended until we can have a committee formed to review the best way to deal with the three, three, three, or the waivers, or the whole thing,” he said.
Prior to announcing his doubts about the law, Olson read a letter from Brigitte Page, of Brookside Lane, requesting permission to have five dogs.
Page said if it were up to her, she would not have five dogs. But she said they are regularly groomed, exercise routinely, eat well and are up-to-date on medical care. They are also fenced in.
“My husband had three, and I had two, and we got married,” she said. “So now we have five dogs.”
The board moved to accept her request, but Trustee Mike Small suggested the law be changed to require that future waiver requests include a recommendation from a veterinarian.
Code Enforcement Officer Greene recommended the board keep the original law and suspend the recent amendment. Trustee Dennis Duggleby questioned whether the law needed to be suspended at all.
“Why bother suspending anything?” he said. “Other communities, like Chittenango, any more than two it’s a kennel. So we’re not being unreasonable by asking somebody that has five dogs to come in.”
Olson urged that the law needs to be reviewed and the issue reevaluated.
“There are so many avenues to this thing,” he said, adding that the time and resources the law requires of the village could be spent on more important issues.
Olson directed Greene to suspend enforcement activity on the amendment limiting pet ownership by number and directed Village Attorney Ted Spencer to draft a moratorium on the entire animal law. Trustee Small will spearhead a committee of residents that will review the issue for three months, Olson said.
The board will hold a public hearing before passing the moratorium.