After City Enacts Pet Limit, Owners Forced to Give Up Dogs

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Some dog owners in a Minnesota town are forced to make a very tough decision: what dogs to keep and which ones to give up.

Late last year the town of Meire Grove passed an ordinance limiting the number of dogs in a household to two after residents complained of loose pets and noise.

Owners who have more than the two-dog limit are angry, one being Ashley Theiler.

Theiler moved to the town in 2014 with five dogs – four she has for sled racing and one that provides emotional support for her child – before such a rule went into effect. The family never received any citations for unruly dogs or barking.

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“I know other people would say it’s fair because of the law. If we had them before it was made we should probably keep them,” Logan Smith, Theiler’s son, told KARE.  “They are like family to us, what kind of person wants to take away family?”

In February, the Theilers received a knock on their door from Meire Grove Mayor Matt Silbernick.

“The Mayor gave us registration papers back and said we have too many animals and we can’t keep all five and choose the ones we want to keep. We have to get rid of all three of them,” Theiler told the outlet.

During a city council meeting on March 17, Theiler, among others, expressed their frustration for the ordinance. She asked if her dogs could be grandfathered in, as she moved to the town with her five pets before the ordinance.

The family also started an online petition, garnering to date more than 58,000 signatures.

Her request was denied by the mayor and the city council. The Thielers said moving or giving up their dogs isn’t an option. They have now hired an attorney.

If found in violation of the ordinance, they will be cited with a misdemeanor.

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