Some pet lovers in the Benton County town of Belle Plaine are barking-mad over a town proposal to limit the number of animals that’ll be permitted per home. Town leaders say the restrictions are an attempt to improve Belle Plaine’s quality of life, but resident Sandy Wedmore says her two dogs already do that and she’ll fight the proposed new ordinances.
Wedmore says “The limitations and the increase of the fees for licensing are concerns that we’re all going to be addressing.” One proposed rule would limit a residence to two dogs or a total of five pets, not including indoor animals. Another rule would hike animal licensing fees and any violation of the ordinance would be a misdemeanor which carries a minimum fine of 200-dollars.
Belle Plaine city administrator Bill Daily says the town’s goal is to become a place people want to move to and limiting the number of animals might be a step in the right direction. Daily says “We have a lot of animal issues with complaints from residents in relation to barking, animal waste, dogs running at large, cats running at large.” Daily says animal control is a costly and time-consuming task for the city and the proposed rules should clear up those problems. City council members haven’t voted yet. As written, the rules would not apply to small animals like hamsters and gerbils.