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Dog, cat licenses eliminated in Ashwaubenon

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – Dog and cat owners in the village no longer will have to license those animals in the future under an ordinance change backed Tuesday, Aug. 28, by the Ashwaubenon village board.

However, restrictions on the number of dogs and cats remain in place to limit the maximum number of either animal a person may own, harbor or possess to two, with the exception that a litter of puppies or kittens, or a portion of a litter, may be kept for a period not exceeding eight weeks from birth.

The wording approved by the board states “no more than a total of two dogs or cats” to specify either no more than two of one animal or one of each, not two of both.

Village Attorney Tony Wachewicz said the idea of changing the ordinance began after discussing how to clarify the language.

“There was confusion on how to calculate the total number of dogs and cats that are allowed,” Wachewicz said.

As part of the discussion as to cleaning up the ordinance on the number of dogs or cats allowed, Wachewicz said the issue of whether dog or cat licenses would be needed in the village came up.

“Essentially, public safety doesn’t really get involved with respect to the licensing,” he said. “It’s kind of an additional piece that we really don’t need from the public safety perspective. We have other ordinances that we can enforce, such as making sure that they have rabies vaccinations. If the animals are running at large, we can issue citations for that.”

Wachewicz said dog and cat licenses generate a “minimal amount of revenue,” estimated at $1,650 annually, with the yearly fee being $10 for dogs and cats not spayed or neutered and $5 for those animals being spayed or neutered.

Trustee Gary Paul, who voiced his opposition to eliminating the licensing for dogs and cats in the village, cast the lone dissenting vote to the ordinance amendment.

“I don’t have a problem – one dog (and) one cat, two dogs or two cats – I don’t have a problem with that,” Paul said. “What I do have a problem with is licensing. We are getting to the point of we are having more dogs than children… I have to think that by licensing, at least we know where some of these dogs are and/or cats… and that (dog and cat owners) at least should be responsible for their animals.”

Village President Mary Kardoskee, who noted she suspects 90 percent of the dogs and cats in Ashwaubenon are not licensed, said the village’s animal control officer doesn’t have information available as to which dogs and cats are licensed when going to someone’s house.

“This is just for us, it’s just a matter of paperwork,” she said. “It’s a lot of paperwork and we don’t use the data.”

Kardoskee said someone who owns a dog in the village would be able to send the county a proof of rabies vaccination to use the county’s dog park.

Village Manager Allison Swanson said the community service officer responds to complaints about animals and could issue a citation for having too many dogs or cats.

The ordinance change takes effect upon being published in The Press.

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