People love their pets. They see them as members of the family – no matter how many people and pets are in the household.

They shower love and attention onto their dogs and cats just as they would for their children.

Yes, for the most part Fifi and Boomer live the grand life.

In return, the pet or pets give years of unconditional love and protection to their human family.

Recently the city/county animal control department recommended changing the city’s ordinance to limit the number of dogs and cats a single household can own to four cats or four dogs or a combination of six dogs and cats.

In the same ordinance the animal control is proposing charging surrender fees when people bring their pet to animal control to give it up.

We believe the proposal as it stands is not well thought out. Most pet owners in the city are good responsible people who take care of their pets no matter how many they have.

An animal control spokesman said they can’t write the law for one group of people but must address the issue across the board.

Responsible pet owners should not be penalized because others cannot or will not take care of their pets.

If this proposal becomes law, what will happen in a multifamily household where everyone has their own pet, and the total exceeds the limit?

Are people expected to give up perfectly healthy animals that are part of the family to follow the ordinance that the animal control said will be difficult, at best, to monitor?

Will this ordinance, if approved by the City Council, force people to drop off their animals in the country and increase the already present stray and wandering dog population in the rural areas?

As the result of public response to the proposal, City officials have promised a revised ordinance before it is voted on by the council.

The city is seeking more public input by hosting two town hall meetings this week. The public is encouraged to attend one of the meetings to give your constructive feedback on the proposed ordinance and ideas for handling the dog and cat situation in the city without causing bigger problems of pets running free.

After the meetings, the city will need to continue to do their homework and research the ideas brought up and decide from here how the ordinance needs to be updated, if any at all.

The city is doing a good job going to the public for input on projects or to help correct a problem. A recent example was the neighborhood meetings concerning the rebuilding o Crestwood Drive. After gaining input, the city and contractor were able to work out a solution for the residents.

The city has also hosted meetings concerning broadband and has held numerous meetings to gain input on proposed master plans for infrastructure, parks, the Main Street Program and others.

We encourage the city to continue to have these public input sessions so residents can continue to have a say in their city’s future.

For now, the public needs to let the city know their ideas on keeping Fifi and Boomer safe at home with their family.

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This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

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