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The fur could fly next month over a proposal to limit La Crosse residents to three dogs or cats.

District 3 council member Ryan Cornett introduced the ordinance change Tuesday after several of his North Side constituents repeatedly complained about neighbors whose small homes and yards are overrun by barking, messy dogs they can’t or won’t control.

The city now allows a total of four dogs or cats in any combination. All must be licensed.

Anyone now with four pets would be allowed to keep that number for as long as the animals live, Cornett said, stressing that no one would be forced to give up that extra cat or dog.

He didn’t view the proposal as punishing all for the misbehavior of a few.

His family has two dogs, “so it’s not like I’m anti-animal, anti-pet,” Cornett said. “I’m just for responsible ownership.”

Though most complaints have been about problem dogs, he included cats in the interest of fairness, “so there are no issues with that down the line,” Cornett said.

The council won’t consider the change until December. Cornett said he also is working on a dangerous animal ordinance that will take more time to develop.

Council member Peg Jerome, who spoke with Cornett about the restrictions before Tuesday’s meeting, said she has some misgivings about reducing the overall number.

“It could be a sensitive issue,” Jerome said. She suggested perhaps leaving the limit at four but allowing only three dogs.

Cornett noted he soon could be bumping up against the new limit if approved: His wife is lobbying to give their daughter a cat for Christmas.

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(10) comments


Let's control how many kids people can have, how about two max and if you're single then you get fixed after two. You want kids then take care of them and teach hem right from wrong or pay a fine. Pets are my last concern.


I just don't see why the bureaucrats don't go after the problem instead of the whole community. Though Cornett claims "He didn’t view the proposal as punishing all for the misbehavior of a few" that is exactly what he is doing. Create an ordinance that deals with the complaints. I mean if people can be fined for not mowing their lawn before it gets out of control, having an exhaust on your car that is too loud, celebrating too loudly too late at night, or not containing their garbage correctly. . fine owners who can't keep their pets from becoming a noise nuisance or for not cleaning up after their pets. Don't punish those of us who do love and care for our pets, keeping them quite, clean and good canine/feline citizens. It's sad that our council members can't come up with more important issues to deal with than putting a limit to how many animals a person can own in the city limits.

Denny Brown

Ed- One is already required to register an animal, be it dog or cat, with city hall. There would be no further requirement as the process, currently, would be able to address this. So I would not be too worried about it.
Jobaba- So you are advocating that puppies & kittens should be the first animals to be slaughtered if food runs out? Why not chickens or gerbils? The law does not apply to these animals.

*I think this law is a positive thing for the community. However I understand the apprehension to it. I think a happy medium would be an amendment where if one wanted to go over this limited they would have to apply for a licence or zoning permit. That way people who do not take care of larger groups of animals would be dissuaded from doing so. While those who, let us say help out the animal shelter or are dog trainers, are able to still pursue these actives with in the city limits. Again we could use the existing process already in place to do this.


I would support banning puppy and kitty mills in addition to this ordinance.


why would someone in the city want more than three dogs ? I have a family and one dog. we make time to walk him at least once everyday which can be difficult. 2 dogs I can understand. but 3+ in the city is crazy. I dunno maybe its just me but unless you have no life how could you give 3+ dogs proper care, exercise, ect... excluding rescue/rehab type things people do for animals that have nowhere or were abused. normally that's temporary.


We should limit how many "animals" un-wed mothers are allowed to have.

We should also not allow people that are on food stamps to have any kind of pet. Many people get free/reduced lunches for their kids but, yet have the means to feed their pets. Pets are not cheap be it food or Vet care.


Some people are just pigs, ruining it for others every time. On the other hand, if people want a yard full of animals, they should live in the country. Your next door neighbor shouldn't have to smell crapp from lazy people's yards who don't cleanup after their animals. Like they say, without some rules there'd be crapp everywhere.


Yes, the number should increase. Once the tea baggers get done, how else will we make it through the winter?

David Jarzemski

I would increase the maximum to 5.


Hey DJ: I thought as a TPr you were against government intervention. I sense a schism in the TP.

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