Carpentersville trustee unable to overturn 2-dog rule

Updated 7/20/2011 4:54 AM

One trustee's move to lift restrictions on the number of dogs Carpentersville residents are allowed to have rolled over and played dead Tuesday night.

As a result, residents living in single-family homes are still restricted to two dogs older than six months -- an attempt to lift the number to three dogs instead of two also failed during a vote.


Freshman Trustee Doug Marks, a Libertarian opposed to the government telling people how to run their lives, requested that the item go on the agenda for Tuesday night's board meeting.

Marks has a soft spot for pooches. His parents owned a kennel when he was growing up and neighbors constantly complained about the number of dogs at their house, which ranged from six to 14.

Calling the number two "arbitrary," Marks said it isn't fair for Carpentersville to regulate the number of dogs people can have.

"You're going to penalize the person that wants to have five members of their family living with them? Because that's what you're considering -- they're considered members of the family," Marks said. "You're going to tell me how many children they can have?"

But the rest of the board, pointing to potential issues with noise, aggressiveness and waste disposal, didn't see it his way.

Trustee Kay Teeter said the village has to set a standard policy that everyone has to live with, instead of letting people have as many dogs as they want.

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Keeping the restriction on the books would also help keep inconsiderate dog owners in check.

"Not all people are responsible enough, nor do they respect other people's property or public places," Teeter said. "I think two dogs is more than enough."

Trustee Brad McFeggan proposed an amendment that would let people have three dogs instead of two, because in some cases, people have dogs smaller than cats. But the board rejected it when it came to a final vote.

Even so, McFeggan still was not in favor of lifting dog restrictions altogether. "I am a dog owner and I consider myself a responsible dog owner," McFeggan said. "I don't think I would be able to responsibly own more than three dogs just because of the sheer lot size of my house."