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Lebanon Considers Ordinance Limiting Residents To 4 Pets

February 16th, 2005, 12:22 PM
LEBANON, Pa. -- Lebanon City Council is considering a new ordinance that would limit the number of pets a city resident can own, but some people say it is an infringement of their rights.


Ben Simmoneau's Report

From the outside, it looks like any other house on the block, but inside is a different matter. Richard Schaeffer shares his Lebanon home with 11 cats.

"Just another house, like any other on the block," Schaeffer said.

That's why he's fighting a proposed city ordinance that says a city resident can only own four pets without getting a permit.

"This law would instantly make me a nuisance," Schaeffer said. "This is absolutely an invasion of privacy."

"I was initially outraged," Lebanon resident Kathy Smith said.

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Smith is also against the ordinance. She said it unfairly punishes law-abiding pet owners, and is just not necessary.

"We just feel that they can do this on a case-by-case basis," Smith said.

The proposed ordinance came about after several problems in the city last year. In one incident, the smell got so bad at one point, it sent a neighbor to the hospital.

"This is where pet urine had seeped through the floorboards above and into the ceiling," Lebanon Mayor Bob Anspach said.

Inside the home, city officials found a dead dog and animal feces piled all over the house.

There were 11 other animal-health situations citywide last year, News 8 reported.

"It was a situation that was very difficult for the neighbors. You don't want to live in that kind of situation," Anspach said.

"It's going to have neighbors against neighbors," Smith said.

Anspach said he's open to suggestions, but, "something has to be done, without a doubt."

The ordinance includes all animals, except fish or animals younger than 6 months.

There is a similar ordinance in Lancaster, where residents are limited to six pets.

Lebanon City Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance on Feb. 28.
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