All Politics is Local

Council to consider animal limits without supportive data

Come May, new limits on domestic animals in the city of Vancouver may be in place.

The Planning Commission proposed restricting the combined number of animals to 10, potentially ending a discussion that began in November 2016. The limit for dogs would stay at three, and residents could have up to five mature cats, hens or rabbits, so long as the total number of animals doesn’t exceed 10.

But based on the brief conversation had by the Vancouver City Council Monday evening, it’s possible the limits won’t stand as proposed.

Councilor Alishia Topper asked staff to bring complaint information to the first reading May 7. She asked for the number of complaints made in 2017 on households that have more than three dogs, five cats, rabbits and hens in city limits.

“We don’t track that,” said Paul Scarpelli, Clark County Animal Protection and Control Manager. 

“Then how do we change an ordinance without having any data to back up the ordinance?” Topper asked.

“The recommendation didn’t come from staff,” Scarpelli replied.

“Knowing that we don’t have the stats, that makes it kind of a big deal,” Topper added.

Councilor Ty Stober followed up with a new request before the eight-minute workshop concluded. Stober asked staff to instead bring information about complaints in general the city received last year.

The council has a public hearing on the matter scheduled for May 21.

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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