An entire town in Minnesota is facing a new law: only two dogs now allowed per family. On Monday, According to KARE, the City Council in Meire Grove, Minnesota, passed an ordinance that is forcing every pet owner to choose between their family animals. According to City Mayor, Matt Silbernick, the ordinance was passed after numerous community complaints from citizens about barking and loose dogs.
Now every pet-owning family is faced with a virtual ‘Sophie’s Choice’, including the Theilers. They now face the agony of having to give up three of their five dogs. “It’s been really hard here, and the kids have been crying this whole week,” said Ms. Theiler. “It’s been extremely frustrating, more heartbreaking than frustrating.” Families who owned pets before the new ordinance was enacted are not being allowed to ‘grandfather-in’ their animals. Everyone is being hit with the same rules, no matter how long they and their pets have been town residents.
The Theiler family has five dogs and have put up this petition, asking for comments and assistance from the public. Understandably, they don’t want to part with any of their pets, and are willing to take the town to court. They have put up this fundraiser to gather funds to hire an attorney. Four of the family dogs were bred for sled racing, along with a fifth dog who provides emotional support to Logan Smith, the family’s 11-year-old son, who struggles with anxiety and depression. People may say, well, it’s a law now. However, young Logan disagrees.
“If we had them before it was made we should probably keep them. They are like family to us, what kind of person wants to take away family?”
The Theilers have lived in the town since 2014. At that time, ordinances allowed all five dogs to live there, otherwise the family would not have moved to the town. The family has not received a single citation or violation of the town’s noise or loose dog ordinances. But last month, Mayor Silbernick, who lives two doors away, personally stopped by their home and told her three of her dogs had to go, and to “choose the ones we want to keep.” The town had a bitter battle between pet owners and the City Council last week. For the Theiler family, giving up their dogs and moving isn’t an option, and now they are guilty of a misdemeanor.
When the petition was presented at the Council meeting, the Mayor refused to acknowledge the over 20,000 signatures it contained at the time because they did not all come from town residents. Today, the petition has over 50,000 supporters, and word is spreading. If you’d like to voice your concern, please share the petition and fundraiser.
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