Proposed Bay City ordinance to limit pet ownership to get second look

A proposed ordinance that would limit the number of cats and dogs that Bay City residents can have will get a second look before commissioners consider a vote.

City commissioners got a first look at the ordinance Monday night. It would limit each household to three cats and three dogs and also ban residents from keeping livestock or farm animals.

The cityâ??s current pet ordinance allows residents to keep pigeons, livestock and other farm animals, such as chickens.

City leaders say the changes will address noise and blight complaints.

"If there's nuisances that people are complaining about, there's something that we can do if this ordinance is in place,â?? Assistant City Manager Tony Reyes said.

But several residents who keep chickens, bees and other animals spoke against the ban on farm animals.

Gretchen Irish, a former Bay City resident, said, â??We have this great history, and agriculture is part of it. That is one of the things we are founded on."

The president of the Humane Society of Bay County also spoke at the meeting. She suggested the city should offer incentives for spaying and neutering cats and dogs instead of limiting the number of pets.

Commissioners decided to send the proposal back to staff for further changes.