For many, pets are part of the family. But what if you were limited to having only three children? That's what some are arguing when it comes to a proposal in Green Island. Innae Park has the story.
GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. –- “I can't possibly see why anyone would need more than three animals in their home,” Green Island Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan stated.
That may become the law of the land for the village as a proposal to limit residents to three dogs and/or cats per household is up for discussion.
“We just had a case where someone had 10 dogs in an apartment and it was awful on the whole block,” explained the Mayor. “It affects the quality of life for neighbors. Even if you're a good pet owner, you can't always control barking or anything else.”
Resident Gary Conroy isn't pleased.
“There are other laws that can address that. Health issue laws. They don't need a new law,” he said.
While it's just been him and his dog, Cassidy, for nine years, his past has been full of pets.
“I grew up with 550 rabbits,” he admitted. “I think as long as people take care of their pets and keep them healthy, then they should be allowed to have more.”
Green Island isn't alone in considering this type of law. A number of other local governments have already enacted policies similar to this. But animal advocates are concerned this trend will spread.
Brad Shear is the executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
Shear predicts, “We would have a real issue with finding homes for animals. We would see what's now already an overpopulation issue become even worse.”
Not only would shelters see an impact, Shear says, but it's preventing families from being made whole.
“We want to adopt to responsible people and lots of responsible people can have more than three animals,” Shear said. “I don't think it's the number of animals in a person's home that's really the issue. It's how those animals are being cared for.”
The village will hold a public hearing Monday, August 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the municipal center. The village board could vote on the proposal that same evening. If it becomes law, any violators would face a maximum fine of $250. Any animals already licensed in the village would be ‘grandfathered’ in, so they would be permissible if a home already exceeded three pets.