The city of Fort Madison’s struggling with a way to keep pets — or their owners — from getting out of control. We’ve all heard about those houses where they find someone living with hundreds of animals in unsanitary conditions. But before that point, it can be hard to draw the line. City council members who heard a proposal to limit households to four pets heard howls of objection, and not just from pet owners. Managers of a local animal shelter say they’d be swamped with pets discarded because they’re over the limit. Another program, the Animal Protection League, has no shelter but depends on volunteers to temporarily board single animals or litters until they’re adopted, a practice the ordinance would probably end. Fort Madison police say their nuisance calls aren’t so much homes with many pets, but those where an animal’s running loose, being abused, or abandoned. The council will take another look at the proposal before its meeting February fifth.
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