How many pets are too many?

Lisa Depies

How many pets are too many? Should there be a limit on the number of pets a Geneseo resident may have at their home?

A proposed ordinance would limit the number of cats or dogs in a single-family residence to three. Those living in a single-family apartment would only be permitted to have one pet.

Under a grandfather clause, residents would be allowed to keep current animals, but once an animal dies or no longer lives in the city, that household would be required to comply with the ordinance.

Mayor Nadine Palmgren and aldermen expressed concern regarding the proposed ordinance.

“I don’t know that this is something the city needs to get involved with,” said Palmgren.

“I’m more concerned with the quality of care given to the pets than the number of pets,” said alderman Michael Smith.

“I think the number seems a little low,” said alderman James Roodhouse, saying in a large house, he could “understand someone having four cats.”

For some residents, limiting the number of pets would be “almost like regulating someone’s children,” said Palmgren. “Perhaps we need to look at beefing up our nuisance ordnances regarding barking or obnoxious smells instead.”

Aldermen will discuss the issue at the Jan. 12 city council meeting and have asked members of the public for input on the topic.