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North Kingstown sets new limits on dog owners

New rules will limit how many dogs someone can own in North Kingstown, with a maximum of five. (WJAR)

New rules will limit how many dogs someone can own in North Kingstown, with a maximum of five.

While supporters said they're just keeping up with the times, opponents argue there's no need.

Mariann Miceli, who was accompanied by Dolly, her one dog, told NBC 10 News they walk the streets of Wickford every day.

“I think four could be the limit,” she said. “But if they can handle it and they take good care of them, like I take care of my dog, I think it's OK.”

The town council approved the restriction in a 3 to 2 vote.

Councilman Kerry McKay, who has three dogs, voted for the limit.

“I think we did the right thing. When you have that many dogs, you have the tendency to have issues,” McKay said. “They create all kinds of waste. They can bark, bark, bark their heads off.”

Counilwoman Doreen Costa, who has two dogs and other animals, voted against it.

“If I have three dogs or six dogs, they're long to be groomed. They're going to the vet. They're going to have their shots. They're going to be very well taken care of,” Costa said. “And most people are good. They're going to do the right thing.”

Animal Control and police recommended the rule in hopes of avoiding hoarding situations, as there had not been a limit on the books in North Kingstown.

Animal Control Officer Brittany Curran said she checked in with a bunch of other towns, many with a limit of three dogs. She said there are about a dozen homes in town now with more than five dogs, one with about 20.

But the new rules will grandfather in those dog owners.

“We're just trying to update the ordinance and things like that,” said Curran. “Everybody that has their dogs are going to be able to keep them. We're not going to go out to your house and take them away.”

“Anybody could move here and have 35 dogs, but maybe they're not taking care of them,” Curran added. “Not going to say that somebody that has 3 dogs isn't taking care of them right, but just in general, that's a lot of dogs. We should definitely have it monitored more.”

The new rule goes into effect July 1. Anyone who is not grandfathered in beforehand would need a kennel license to have more than five dogs.

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