Township may move to limit resident's pets - WNEM TV 5

Township may move to limit resident's pets

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How many pets do you have at home? In one local community, you might soon not have a choice.

Officials in Saginaw Township are reviewing their six-pet limit following several complaints from residents about their neighbors. 

So, should local government have the right to tell you how many pets you're allowed to have?

"If the wheel's not broken, there's nothing to fix." That's how John Kiraly feels about Saginaw Township's domestic pet policy. Kiraly owns five dogs and a cat. Recently, he received a letter from the township, outlining complaints from neighbors about his animals. Kiraly tells TV5 he doesn't understand why someone has a problem with his four-legged friends.

"We take care of our animals," said Kiraly. "We control the noise that they issue, the amount of barking that they do. We clean up after them every day, so it should be not an issue."

"Six is too many," said Bridget Smith, with Community Development. She says she has heard from residents all over the township unhappy with the number of pets a particular household has. Now, township leaders are reviewing the policy. Smith said she has ideas about what changes she would like to see.

"No more than three dogs. No more than six domestic pets total," said Smith.

The term domestic pets means anything that's not considered an exotic animal or farm animal. But Smith tells TV5 the real issue here is the number of dogs and cats. In other words, if you have seven hamsters in your house, you most likely won't have a problem the township.

"Most of the concerns we get are related to the number of dogs," said Smith.

It'll be awhile before any changes happen. Smith tells TV5 that the Planning Commission won't draft an ordinance for two to three months. And she wants the public involved in the process, urging anyone with concerns to contact the community development office. Meanwhile, Kiraly is hopeful nothing will change. He believes local leadership is barking up the wrong tree.

"Leave the good animal owners alone and go after the ones that neglect their animals and neglect their neighborhoods," said Kiraly.

TV5 wants to know what you think -- should local governments have the right to limit the number of pets you keep on your property? Sound off in the comments section below or email us at

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