- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) - Some Gautier residents are opposing a five-animal limit recommended as part of a city animal control ordinance.

The ordinance was the topic of a public meeting Tuesday held by the city planning commission.

The ordinance has been in the works for about a year. The proposed ordinance revision states that each person in a household may have only five dogs or cats.

The city council will have the final say.

Code Enforcement Officer Joe Bellas said Gautier’s sister cities allowed anywhere from three to six animals per household.

“We are here to protect the quality of life of our citizens. Enforcement is complaint-driven. We are not going to be knocking on doors. The code is to protect our residents not punish them,” said City Manager Samantha Abell.

“I have eight dogs and my house doesn’t stink. They’re not overcrowded,” said Gautier resident Nicolette Plummer.

Plummer said she doesn’t want the city to limit the number of animals per households; however she says she agrees with the city updating its animal ordinance.

“I’m pleased with some of it. But the number of, I’m definitely not. I would love to see them get more control over animals running loose. I have been forced to make complaints in the past on it,” said Plummer.

In addition, to limiting the number of animals per household, the planning commission is also proposing only requiring a rabies vaccination every three years for a dog. The current mandate requires dogs to be vaccinated annually.

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