Fayetteville mulls pet limit to put leash on animal control issues

Posted April 3, 2012
Updated April 4, 2012

— Fayetteville and Cumberland County leaders are considering limiting the number of pets that people may have in their homes.

People would be restricted to having a maximum of three dogs or cats per household in high-density areas – homes on lots half an acre or smaller –and two dogs or cats in multi-family housing, such as apartment buildings, County Attorney Rock Moorefield said Tuesday.

City leaders said adopting the proposal would make pet restrictions uniform across the county, but they have not set a timetable on when to move forward with the idea.

Currently, the county limits residents to a maximum of two dogs but has no restrictions on the number of cats. Fayetteville has no pet limits.

Dog owner Karen Goble supports the idea. 

"In order to really properly take care of them, keep them well and give them the attention that they need and quality of life, then three is a lot," she said.

For Cumberland County Animal Control Director John Lauby, the issue comes down to workload management.

"The problem is we're dealing with 200 to 250 calls a day, every day – animals in the city, animals in the county, animals chasing people," Lauby said. Fayetteville mulls limiting households to three dogs or cats Fayetteville mulls limiting households to three dogs or cats

The draft ordinance would impose $100 daily fines for violations. People who already have more than the allowed number of pets would be allowed to keep them.

Mayor Tony Chavonne said he supports the pet limit.

City Councilman Wade Fowler, however, said the proposal could tread on the property rights of responsible pet owners.

"You have responsible pet owners who can have more than that and take care of them, keep them clean and not cause any problems," Fowler said. "Then you have those with fewer pets that have continued problems with the neighbors."

Lauby disagreed.

"Unfortunately, we're dealing with (the fact) that most people aren't responsible," he said.

There is no precedent in the Triangle for such an ordinance – neither Raleigh, Cary nor Durham put a cap on the allowed number of pets per property.

Do you think that there should be pet restrictions in homes?

Fayetteville and Cumberland County leaders are considering limiting the number of pets that people may have in their homes. What do you think?

Yes, it will help pets be taken care of.
Yes, too many pets can be a nuisance.
No, people should be able to own as many pets as they want.
There should be restrictions in apartments but not homes.
Other, I'll elaborate in the comments.

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  • 4Cats Apr 9, 2012

    There are plenty of people that can take care of more than 3 animals, and do a fantastic job of it. It does take work and committment, but some people can handle it just fine. Then there are people that don't need one pet (or child) and continue to acquire them...those people need to have restrictions in place or all animals removed. Don't unfairly group all of society into the irresponsible to care for an animal category.

  • jasmineoct2698 Apr 5, 2012

    If they limit us having three pets then they're going to be putting more animals on the street and then more calls are going to be made about people get chased by dogs and more strays in the area. It doesn't really make any sense because if you put yourself in the place of an animal who would never be adopted from a shelter (kill or no kill) because the law wouldn't allow anyone to have you because they already had "enough" pets. The houses that don't allow pets at all keep enough pets in shelter. Nobody deserves to feel how some animals feel when they are locked into cages all day everyday. This will also put shelters out of business. As you can see I feel strongly about my opinion. I hope you take what I have said in consideration.

  • barbstillkickin Apr 5, 2012

    Is this still the Land Of The FREE or are we going to start being told how many animals we are allowed to have. What is next are they going to tell you that you are only allowed to have two children. We better put a stop to this now or it will get worse.

  • nimueowl Apr 4, 2012

    There is no benefit to anyone in a pet limit. All it will do is make good pet owners miserable and prevent rescuers from doing what we so need them to do. Also, different people can take care of different numbers of pets. Some can only handle one responsibly. Others are fine with a dozen and they are all healthy and happy. There is no need to dictate to people. Just actually prosecute people for neglect and abuse, and all the problems will be solved. Currently it is almost impossible in this state to punish anyone for what they do to animals. That's our problem here!

  • kris2law Apr 4, 2012

    This is an infringement upon homeowners. Bottom line placing limits will not solve the issue of pets roaming or the number of calls animal control recieves as irresponsible pet owners will continue to be irresponsible no matter if they have 1 dog or 20, they will continue to do the same thing and when one dog is picked up by animal control they will get another and continue repeating the process. Whereas responsible pet owners are not the problem, we care for our pets,keep our pets at home ( of course there are occasionally accidental escapes) and don't bother anyone.. WE don't need more restrictions or governmental control but as usual our government feels by infringing on our personal rights it will solve a problem, but in reality it won't..

  • kris2law Apr 4, 2012

    I find it rediculous that anyone would feel this will curb the problem with the amount of calls animal control recieves regarding loose animals.It is NOT responsible owners that are allowing their pets to run freely nor that are the habitual offenders that are doing so. Having more than 3 dogs does not mean you can not care for them properly or that you are allowing them to roam. I know plenty of people with more than 3 dogs and those dogs are very well cared for and better taken care of than most children. I feel that homeowners should not be limited in the numbber of dogs they have as long as they are cared for properly.. It is thier property and putting limits on thier pets is violating thier rights. Instead of limits try fining those that let thier pets roam or that are habitual offenders having thier pets constantly picked up by animal control. Let repsonsible pet owners alone.

  • carroln Apr 4, 2012

    socialism at its finest. This is the reason we need to get rid of PETA. They dont know the difference in animals and people. Worry about you and yours and stay out of every body elses buisness. I hunt and take care of my dogs,but, what you do with yours doesnt concern me at all . although there's alot of people that has to get all up in your buisness . Those need to get a life!!

  • mentalgoose Apr 4, 2012

    Without a strong puppy mill law in NC, this restriction would punish responsible multi-pet owners, but allow criminally irresponsible puppy mill operators to remain unregulated. I don't necessarily agree with the restriction, but if Fayetteville, etc. are going to implement the local restriction, then the General Assembly must also regulate puppy mills state-wide.

    Unfortunately, the General Assembly of NC cares more about the AKC and NC Pork Council lobbies (both of which worked successfully to derail S.B. 460 [aka the puppy mill bill] in 2011) than it cares about the humane treatment of companion animals.

    If animal welfare is important to you, remember this when you vote in 2012 and FIRE everyone who voted against it in the NC House and Senate.

  • dirkdiggler Apr 4, 2012

    "Nobody needs 4 dogs or cats or MORE anyway. How many times have you seen Hoarders and the floors are covered in poo? "

    Thats ridiculous. I've got 5 small dogs and one more coming this weekend, as well as two cats, and several small creatures. Our house is not covered in poo, our dogs stay inside with us the majority of the time and when they do go outside, it's in our fenced in back yard, where I do poo cleanup so the kids can play out there and not step in it.

    I love animals, always have, always will. I take great care of my pets, they all have care contracts at Banfield, they are all neutered, and unlike some of my neighbors' pets, they aren't a nuisance to others because when they come up on the deck and bark to come in, I let them in!

    People who can not or will not provide appropriate care for their pets should not have them. It's nothing to do with numbers. If you're a bad pet owner, you dont need pets at all.

  • tigersnpirates Apr 4, 2012

    if the problem is the many calls received each day about loose animals running is limiting the amount of animals allowed in ones home/apartment/fenced yard/leash related to the problem??