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Fayetteville's animal law is more bark than bite

Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson says he doesn’t want to punish responsible pet owners.

But the village board’s recent amendment to the animal law says otherwise.

On Sept. 24, the board approved amending the law to limit the number of dogs, cats and rabbits residents can have to three. This was done following complaints of some homes having too many cats and dogs — Code Enforcement Officer Richard Greene cited one complaint of seven dogs left outside to bark into the night.

No village resident should be allowed to have pets that disturb their neighbors. But limiting the number of animals allowed only scratches at the surface of the problem, and doesn’t account for the cases where, say, two dogs are left outside to bark into the night. The noise ordinance does, though.

The mayor said someone could have many animals in their Fayetteville home, and you would never know it. In enforcing this new regulation, he plans to take it case by case.

“We don’t want someone who’s doing a nice job and taking care of these animals, to say to them they have to get rid of them,” he said.

But future administrations might not be so lenient. And considering that the village has no animal control officer of its own, we’re left wondering if this board is barking up the wrong tree.

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