Maybe you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but City council rolled over on its two-dog limit Tuesday. Twice.
Council faced two multiple-dog variances: one involved a household with three dogs and two cats, the other was an appeal to let Joey the Chihuahua stay after being rejected a few weeks ago.
In the first case, Carol Bent said her Doberman, Duke, is 13 years old — surpassing the average lifespan of 10 years. She also has a 13-year-old Bichon, Harley, and one of her pups, now seven.
Bent said she expects the two older dogs won’t live much longer. She had the mother and two pups for a long time, and the Doberman came with her new husband.
She also has two cats, but one is 20 years old and stays indoors. It, too, probably doesn’t have many more lives left, she said.
However, some neighbours have complained to City bylaws about the dogs’ barking, and Bent had not licensed the dogs until recently.
She said she got a bark collar for the one pup, Goo, who instigates most of the noise.
Two neighbours wrote council objecting to the extra dogs and their noise.
Joey the Chihuahua belongs to Shannon Kerr, who cried when council rejected her request to keep him and her two Rottweiler-cross dogs.
Kerr said her family has put up a fence between their home and the neighbour who is most bothered by the three dogs. Joey belonged to Kerr’s mother until she couldn’t take care of him any longer.
Kerr told council when she came to council the first time, she was unfocussed and upset because her father-in-law had had a stroke two days before.
“Those dogs are part of his family. He asked me not to get rid of Joey because that's his friend,” she said.
The little dog has also helped Kerr get through a depression.
One of her other dogs is 11 years old and not expected to live a lot longer.
Coun. Nancy Bepple moved to deny Bent’s request, noting she has five animals in her home, which contravenes another council policy.
It was defeated, with support from councillors Nelly Dever, Marg Spina and Ken Christian. The rest of council voted against.
A motion to allow the dogs passed, with the same four councillors above voting against.
Kerr’s appeal also got council’s support, with Christian and Dever opposed and the rest in favour.