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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

The Common Council's "Dog Days of Summer" - Correction

City of Brookfield, Common sense, Legislation, Pets

Traditionally, the days between July and September are called the Dog Days of Summer, not because of the heat and humidity causing you to pant like a dog, but because of the appearance of Sirius, the bright star in the constellation Canis Major.

But this summer, Brookfield's Common Council's Legislative & Licensing Committee* is having their own Dog Days. The Aldermen members are discussing whether or not Brookfield should adopt a dog and cat limit.

According to the JSOnline article yesterday, most people at the meeting did not favor limiting pets, but enforcing current laws,

The city should not limit the number of dogs residents can own, and instead should better enforce existing ordinances to resolve problems with dogs and their owners, animal hobbyists and rescuers say.

...A majority of the approximately 35 residents at the meeting opposed pet limits, saying they were not needed and would cause a domino effect of unintended negative consequences.

They said it was an overreaction to a single case in which neighbors complained about a dog rescue operation being run by Brookfield resident Jean Rhoten. A judge ruled that the rescue was an illegal business in a residential district.

As I stated earlier in How many dogs are too many?, it seems we already have laws on the books to protect neighbors against irresponsible pet owners. Simply making another rule will do little to eliminate the problem if Brookfield does not enforce those ordinances either.

While I do sympathize with residents who have to endure rude pet owners, I guess I don't see how simply limiting the number of pets to 4 would help. Example: We have an area resident who owns 2 large dogs who we suspect of not consistently picking up their dog dirt when on a walk. The new rule wouldn't help that situation. 

Karen Sparapani, Elmbrook Humane Society's Community Outreach Director and fellow blogger stated, "Most complaints are about dogs barking, being out of control or neglected, and that can happen whether there is one dog or 10."

The article suggested (as I did) "Some [communities] issue animal kennel, hobby or fancier permits that allow more dogs, charge higher fees and sometimes require annual inspections."

The Aldermen are obviously more aware of the number of complaints received on the too many pets issue. The L&L Committee will "likely hold another special meeting to take potential action on the issue" in August about this, according to the article in today's Brookfieldnow paper. If a policy change is approved, it then heads to the Common Council.

Legislative & Licensing Committee members (aldermen) are: Steve Ponto, Gary Mahkorn, Rick Owen, Ron Balzer, and Bill Carnell

If you have an opinion on limiting or not limiting pets, do give the committee and your aldermen a call or email.

*Correction--Because the Journal article did not state what meeting this was discussed at, I mistakingly said it was the Common Council in the earlier posting. Thank you Alan Hamari for reporting more specifics in today's Brookfieldnow article. 

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