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Proposed pet ordinance draws concerned citizens to planning commission meeting

A strong message was sent Tuesday to members of the Sherman Township Planning Commission.

More than 50 people were on hand to show their concerns about a potential ordinance that limits the number of pets township residents can own without having to secure a kennel license.

Though the proposed ordinance remains a work in progress and the matter was not on the meeting’s agenda, a determined group of dog owners urged the five-member panel to revise the language once the issue is in their hands.

Board chairman Alan Ford said at the onset of the meeting that the planning commission is not yet in receipt of the proposed ordinance.

The commission fielded comments from nine different people over a half-hour period. For the most part, they all expressed concern that the proposed ordinance, as worded in its rough-draft form, would not allow residents to house more than three pets unless they obtained a kennel permit. A stipulation in the permit includes the fact that the resident must live on five acres.

Doug Kuhlman, a code-enforcement officer who has been tasked with preparing the ordinance, said the point of the proposed ordinance is to better handle so-called puppy mills that have been migrating to southern-tier counties from Indiana.

Kuhlman has said the proposed ordinance still needs some work and he is well aware of the worries shared by the concerned residents.

The commission’s next meeting is at 7 p.m. Feb. 11.

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