South Stormont considers pet ownership limits

A South Stormont firefighter plucks a cat from the window of a burning house in Ingleside, Ont. on July 10, 2019. The township plans to toughen up animal ownership laws, including pet ownership limits. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LONG SAULT – South Stormont will consider pet ownership limits and licencing for cats.

A staff report for Wednesday’s council meeting says the update to the animal control bylaw is “due to immediate concerns” about the number of animals in a home, indirectly referring to last month’s house fire in Ingleside where scores of cats perished.

The law hasn’t been updated in 15 years.

Under the proposed changes, residents would be limited to five animals per household, which would include a limit of three dogs. The three dog limit is part of the original 2004 bylaw.

Additional dogs would be allowed subject to a kennel licence but kennels are not allowed in residential areas.

South Stormont council will also consider licencing cats and compiling a list of exotic animals, which would be prohibited in the township.

The stumbling block for cat licencing will be enforcement, since the township contracts its animal enforcement. Its animal control officer and his facilities don’t have the ability to impound cats, the report states. That means the township may have to look to other townships or the city for help or build a cattery.

The council meeting starts at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the council chambers in Long Sault.

Staff are hoping to have a bylaw to deal specifically with animal ownership limits before council by next month. The rest of the regulations would come in the spring of 2020 after public review of the proposed changes.