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DOG LOVERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST PROPOSED LIMITS

Janice Pauley left a year-old home in Akron seeking freedom. Freedom to have as many dogs as she wanted.

So when the dog fancier found out the Orchard Park Town Board was considering an ordinance that would limit residential owners to three canines, she made sure to make it to Wednesday night's public hearing on the issue.

"I built a new house in Akron so I could have multiple dogs," Pauley told the board. "Until I found there was no limit on dogs in Orchard Park. So I sold that brand new house to come to Orchard Park."

Pauley said that few people on her street even knew she had several dogs, even though they're Siberian huskies, a breed she said "can make an awful lot of noise."

"Those who have purebred licenses should be able to keep multiple dogs," she said, provided they take good care of the dogs and make sure they don't bother the neighbors.

Pauley wasn't alone as a pack of dog breeders and show dog fanciers backed the Town Board off from the ordinance. In fact, by the end of the public hearing, the town was signing up the dog fans in the hall outside the meeting room, seeking to put together a committee to recraft the proposal.

Supervisor Toni Cudney said the main purpose of the proposed rules was to give the animal control officer the tools to remedy situations where there are too many dogs in areas where residences are close together.

Cudney said the proposal was spurred by complaints from some residents, none of whom came to the public hearing. In one case, she said after the meeting, a resident of a duplex had eight dogs -- one of which then had four puppies.

"One of our problems is irresponsible dog owners," she told the crowd.

The crowd told the board that the rule would make it impossible for breeders and show dog fanciers to raise their animals.

"You can't continue a bloodline if you're limited to three dogs," said Peggy Doster, who has been raising American Staffordshire terriers for 22 years.

"I'm not going to give up my dogs to live in Orchard Park," Doster told the board.

While the rule would exclude kennels, Sally Cataldo of the Eagle Ridge Kennel in Orchard Park spoke for dog breeders.

"You can almost compare it to saying to Tiger Woods, 'you can only have three golf clubs in your bag,' " Cataldo said.

She said that dogs past 4 years old aren't used for showing or breeding, but that they're kept anyways to live out their lives as pets, being used in 4-H or nursing home programs. Limiting the number of dogs allowed would make that more difficult, Cataldo said.

"There are already many laws on the book," said Margaret Heaney, a professional dog trainer. "Dogs are supposed to be leashed and to have their shots, but there aren't enough people to enforce the rules that are on the books."

The board took no action and isn't expected to, at least not until the proposal has been revised.

e-mail: eploetz@buffnews.com

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