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By Joe Block 

Prairie du Sac Village Board denies resident's request to exceed pet limit


August 23, 2018

The Village Board of Prairie du Sac denied a resident’s request to exceed the limit of three pets per residence at their August 14 meeting. Maria Thompson’s previous request to exceed the allotted amount had been turned down by the Board.

Thompson, who operates a daycare out of her home, has five dogs and two cats. Three of the dogs are elderly, as are both cats. All of the dogs are less than 11 pounds in size, with most in the 4-pound range. She was unaware of the Village ordinance limiting residents to three dogs and cats total, and has been in violation of the ordinance, unintentionally, for several years. As part of her recertification for her daycare with the State of Wisconsin, she became aware that she was in violation of the Village’s ordinance.

Thompson was not aware that she could be at the meeting where the initial request was considered, and therefore did not appear. At that meeting, the Board chose not to allow an exception to the limit of three, primarily because of the number of pets Thompson owned.

At the August 14 meeting, the Board elected to reconsider their previous decision.

Thompson provided veterinarian records, as well as signatures from neighbors who approve of the number of dogs she currently has. “I’m here to do anything I can,” she said to the Board.

Thompson said she was unaware of the Village’s ordinance limiting the number of pets per household. Village administrator Alan Wildman informed her that with each year’s property tax bill the Village provides a flyer, which includes the pet ordinance.

Thompson outlined how the dogs are kept separate from the daycare, fenced off in their own area within the private residence. The State Licenser signed off on the amount of pets as long as Thompson followed Village ordinances.

Board Member Andrew Strathman explained, “None of us want to have to make this kind of decision. Please understand how hard this is for us.” Board member Eldor Freuhling agreed, noting how hard it is to make decisions concerning pets.

Board Member Craig Bender summed up the nearly hour-long discussion with his statement, “Exceptions leads to problems.”

Board Member Ray Bolton moved that they allow the exception, with the caveat that the elderly dogs not be replaced after they die. His was the only vote for, and the request failed.

At the June 12 meeting, the Board approved an exception for another resident, who had a total of four cats and dogs. At that meeting, Strathman said, “Aren’t we creating a slippery slope [if we vote for the exception]?”

When contacted by the Star News, Wildman said, “The board did recently approve an exception to the limit for two cats and two dogs at a residence. In that case, the pet owner was in compliance with licensing and was asking for approval of the second dog. In the Thompson matter, they have been exceeding the limit for many years and none of the cats or dogs had been licensed.”


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