Taking Liberties: WI Pet Ordinance Forces Homeowners to Choose — Your Pet or Your House
In a push many see as a gross infringement on one’s personal liberties, a small Wisconsin town is forcing homeowners who keep more than the town’s “permitted” allotment of pets a choice: Give up your animals, or give up your house.
This is the dilemma currently being faced by one couple — James and Melissa Lecker — who, unbeknownst to them, moved to Wausau with four dogs.
For Melissa, there was no “choice.”
“These dogs are our family. They’re like our children,” she said.
In Wausau, homeowners are not permitted to have more than three cats, gerbils and rabbits or two dogs.
Melissa told Fox News she was in disbelief when a police officer showed up to her door to inform her that she was subject to a $100 per day fine for being over her dog “limit.”
“I had never heard of anything like that,” she said.
“They told us that the ordinance clearly states they [City council] cannot work with us… that it’s either two dogs or that you have to move, as you can’t have four dogs here.”
Meanwhile, the town’s officials said their hands are tied as the “ordinance doesn’t allow for variance.”
According to Fox, Jeff Gold, a municipal attorney from New Jersey, said the law makes sense when it comes to dogs:
“They smell. They bark. They have excrement,” said Gold.
“You’re not punishing [the Leckers], he explains. “You’re regulating society.”
No one from Wausau, including Mayor James Tipple returned reporters calls for comment.
Melissa says she has put her house on the market and is prepared to take a $15,000 loss in order to keep her dogs.
“I hope we can work something out,” she told Fox. “But they are just being so mean. My dogs didn’t bother anyone.”
Watch the report below, courtesy of Fox:
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