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Oneida Mayor says proposed pet abatement law will no longer limit pets

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Oneida Mayor says proposed pet abatement law will no longer limit pets
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ONEIDA, N.Y. -- After many animal lovers spoke out against the idea a proposed law limiting the number of pets in Oneida has been revised. An updated proposal will focus on smell, noise and general behavior instead.

After a public hearing last month, a vote on the proposal was tabled.

Several trips to Oneida City Hall to state her case against pet limits later, and now animal lover Claudette Buss is finally leaving knowing her voice was heard.

"I don't think that they should limit how many animals you should have ," said Claudette Buss, a pet owner. "That one dog can be a nuisance compared to five dogs. It all depends on who has them and how well they behave and how well the owners behave."

Under the original version of the law, families owning more than four cats and dogs would have been grandfathered in, meaning they wouldn't have to give up any pets. But it still made people with multiple animals uneasy.

When asked how many pets she had, Claudette Buss laughed.

"Above and beyond what the limit says. But what I was fearing most is if one of my pets should die, I couldn't replace that pet."

One of the reasons for shifting the focus from number of animals to behavior is the amount of people in the area who foster rescue animals.

"Given that there are people that are actually restoring those animals to better health and caring for them in a very dutiful and loving way, it didn't seem sensible to make it difficult or penalize them when they're actually part of the solution," said Alden Max Smith, Mayor of the City of Oneida.

While animal lovers are pleased the updated proposal won't restrict quantity, they do hope it will still address the mental health of pet owners.

"Hoarding is an issue and that's what they need to look into," said Buss. "It's a mental illness. If you have 20 dogs they all should be licensed, rabies and proof of everything.
In a hoarding incident they're not going to have any of that."

The Mayor says legislation will be re-drafted for a vote at next month's Common Council Meeting. If you suspect animal abuse or negligence, you can visit this linkfor information on reporting it.

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