Knoxville to clarify limit on cats and dogs

Just wait till they ask about your children!

(WBIR-Knoxville) How many pets is too many? Knoxville already limits the number of cats and dogs allowed in a home and that rule may tighten ever further.

The city ordinance, at the moment, states that each person can have a combination of four cats and/or dogs.

The City of Knoxville Animal Control Board hopes to make the law more clear, and more strict, by limiting the number to four per household.

For some, that could mean fewer pets would be allowed in their home.

Megan Knoll visits Knoxville’s downtown dog park every day with one of her four pets.

“We have a dog who’s just over a year, and then two cats and a hedgehog, crazy,” she said.

Knoll wants another dog, which would put her at the limit if city council approves the amendment.

“The original intent of the ordinance for the last 20 years had really been to limit a reasonable about of animals to any particular household,” explained Jeff Ashin, CEO of Young Williams Animal Center and member of the City of Knoxville Animal Control Board.

Ashin said there was confusion with the ordinance because it focused on owners, instead of households. The ordinance also does not apply to animals under six months old.

Animal owners outside of the city in Knox County have different rules that depend on the amount of land they own.

If a home sits on less than an acre, they can have up to five cats and/or dogs; 1.5-2 acres, 11-20 cats and/or dogs; 5+ acres, 21 or more cats and/or dogs.

All animals must be vaccinated.

City Council will vote on the change on Aug. 6.

Ashin said the change does not apply to those who are fostering animals or have them on a temporary basis.

We have GOT to get some people on these animal control boards throughout the state. Otherwise, they are going to keep proposing these bonehead ideas and we’re going to keep hearing about them, if we’re lucky, three days before they vote.

These boards have a lot of power in cities and counties and if we want to have a say about local animal laws, we need to have some people willing to step up and join them. It’s easier to help shape the laws than to fight them later.

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