Sunday, April 13, 2008

Roscoe Pet Ownership

The village of Roscoe is in the process of trying to pass an ordinance that would limit the number of pets a household could own. The following is a letter I sent the Village Trustees (A shorter version was submitted to the local paper).
As a resident of Roscoe, I write with great dismay and some anger at the ordinance regarding pet ownership. This ordinance is arbitrary, unreasonably broad in its scope, and ambiguous in its content.

The limit of four pets per household is arbitrary. There is no general link between the number of pets one has in one’s household to the health and safety of Roscoe residents. Merely adding a dog to home that has four pets already does not suddenly create a health hazard or safety risk to other residents.

There is, moreover, no connection between having more than four pets and one failing to take responsibility regarding that pet. A family could have two pets and fail to care for those pets responsibly and thus possibly create a health or safety risk for residents. While another family might have two dogs and three cats and take wonderful and loving care of these pets. On what reasonable basis does the Village take upon itself the authority to deprive these individuals of property that is posing no harm or danger to residents?

Residents who are responsible should not be punished for the irresponsibility of others. The board should craft an ordinance that empowers the village to deal appropriately with residents who create a nuisance by failing to take responsibility for their pets--regardless of how many they own. Such an ordinance should not interfere in the peaceful lives and homes of responsible residents.

I urge you to vote against this arbitrary, ambiguous, and unreasonable ordinance. It violates the liberty of law-abiding and responsible individuals.

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