Friday, November 26, 2010

Over the Limit

It seems that the town Deerfield, Illinois is considering some new rules for pet owners.  One involves required muzzling of "aggressive" dogs.  The other is limiting the number of pets in a home to five:

"The board decided a limit of five would be a reasonable expectation, although trustees had considered three, which was regarded as too restrictive for some animal lovers.
 “I have a problem with three,” said Trustee Thomas Jester. “If someone has a couple of dogs, a cat and a bird, they are over the limit.”"

I find this utterly ridiculous.  This rule lumps all pets into the same category when clearly, all pets are not the same.  The daily needs of two average dogs are by far more difficult to manage than two average cats or two average birds.  Even within a species - two cockatiels are by so far easier to manage than two macaws.  And that doesn't even address the fact that different animals have different personalities and different needs.

I have three pets - a dog, a cat and an African Grey parrot.  At various times, we have had two dogs in the house.  I am also licensed by the state of Illinois to foster animals in my home.  I am extremely conscious of how much is "too much" for my home to handle.  I base my judgement on whether the two humans living in my house have the time, attention and resources to keep the animals fed, clean, emotionally cared for and in some way, disciplined.  Also, is there enough room in my house for each of the animals to find a quiet corner?   The answer is always Yes.

Right now, I am fostering a second African Grey parrot and am seriously considering fostering a lovebird for the holidays.  (The rescue also offers boarding services and is always very full over the holidays.)  I know that my home can handle that for a few weeks.  I don't need a village board to make that decision for me.

You know what?  I don't think that any family should be allowed to have more than three children.  Let's legislate that.  There is no way on Earth that my parrot is a greater burden to the neighborhood than the average child.

Or we could legislate something important: the breeding of domesticated animals, such that there aren't so many homeless in the first place.

If Deerfield feels the need to establish some arbitrary limit on the number of pets in one house, then so be it.  But for a Trustee like Mr. Jester to pass judgement on what is "over the limit" for any given family makes me glad that I don't live in Deerfield.

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