Ohio Valley Dog Owners, Inc.
Protecting dogs, dog owners and our neighbors
OVDO opposes dog number limits as unfair to dog owners, dog rescue organizations, animal shelters, and dog breeders and exhibitors. Just as danger cannot be pre-determined by the appearance of the dog, so nuisance cannot be pre-determined by the number of dogs owned.
Responsible owners of multiple dogs should be allowed to keep their pets or acquire additional pets as long as they keep their premises clean, do not violate animal control laws, and make sure their dogs are quiet.
When proposing dog number limits, government officials often say they do not think people need more than two pets or five pets or whatever number they are advocating as the optimum allowed. A pet owner in a Pennsylvania community challenged a five-pet limit and won her case by arguing that the limit was arbitrary and therefore unconstitutional. The judge said in his decision that government cannot take what was legal and make it illegal without cause, that is, without providing evidence that the activity somehow threatens the health and safety of the community.
Dog number limits often grow out of neighborhood disputes or nuisances. In 1993-94, OVDO helped the Hamilton County Planning and Zoning Commission rewrite zoning ordinances affecting dog ownership in residential areas to eliminate a two-dog limit and provide for dog runs and dog houses in residential yards. This effort grew from neighborhood complaints when a boarding kennel was built on property adjacent to a residential subdivision.
In 1995, OVDO worked with the Madeira, Ohio, City Council when a two-dog limit was proposed to satisfy complaints about a multiple dog household. As a result, Council dropped the proposal in favor of stronger nuisance laws and an OVDO educational mailing to city residents about responsible dog ownership.
In 1997, the Union Township, Clermont County, Board of Trustees added a five-dog limit to the township criminal code in an effort to prevent construction of a private animal shelter on a nine-acre tract between a commercial zone and a residential zone. The trustees also attempted to get a state law passed that would have allowed townships to zone against dog kennels on any size property, even though dog breeding and housing are considered agricultural pursuits in Ohio and agricultural pursuits cannot be regulated on properties larger than five acres. OVDO and the Clermont County Kennel Club joined the League for Animal Welfare in fighting the bill, and it was defeated on the floor of the House. For more information, see OVDO: Local government tries to prohibit no-kill shelter.
In 1999, OVDO supported the efforts of the Toledo Kennel Club to defeat a five-dog limit that was supported by the mayor. The club called its campaign FIDO - Fighting Idiotic Dog Ordinances - and achieved an 11-1 vote against the limit in the council session.
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