Tuesday, December 05, 2000

Proposed pet limit sidetracked

Fort Thomas proposal goes back to committee

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT THOMAS — A controversial ordinance limiting pet ownership in the city to two cats and two dogs was sent back to a committee Monday night af ter about 200 people turned out to protest to City Council.

        Mayor Mary Brown said the ordinance, scheduled for a second reading Monday night, would go back to the law committee and probably would not come before council again until after Jan. 1.

        Twenty-six people addressed council in the packed meeting room, and all were opposed to the ordinance — which not only deals with the number of pets permitted in a house, but with enforcement of nuisance and public safety complaints regarding pets.

        “What council needs to do is write an ordinance for nuisance, with clear definition of what that means, and not an ordinance restricting personal rights,” said South Fort Thomas Avenue resident Don Redman.

        John Gerard Patton, an attorney who represents the Northern Kentucky Health District, told council that there is a law in the Kentucky Revised Statutes that “gives the city the power to deal with a nuisance situation like pets, and it's very broad. I think the city needs to take a look at this.”

        Barbara Manyet, who lives on Scenic View near the house where more than 100 cats were removed by authorities last summer, said the city “must have something to deal with situations like what we experi enced on our street. It's hard to believe it happened in our city.”

        Mrs. Manyet lived hear the home of Bonnie Sarakatsannis, the woman who was found in the garage of her cat-infested house last summer with a broken hip and other injuries and died some days later.

        Her son, Phillip Sarakatsannis, was charged with abuse by a care giver.

        A petition with more than 700 signatures of people op posed to the ordinance was presented to council.

        The petition drive was begun by veterinarian Jean Pritchard, who operates the Fort Thomas Animal Hospital.

        Although many people voiced the opinion that city council wrote the ordinance in response to the Sarakatsannis situation, City Administrator Jeff Earlywine said the city had been considering some type of animal nuisance law since February.


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