Prairie du Sac may grant exemption to daycare with too many dogs

September 26, 2018

The Prairie du Sac Village Board could reconsider an Aug. 14 vote it made to deny an exemption to an ordinance limiting the total number of dogs and cats allowed per household.

That act was made possible by board member Craig Bender who asked for the matter to be brought in front of the board again for reconsideration. Raymond Bolton, who was the lone yes vote for the exemption during the last vote, seconded the motion. Two yes votes are required per board policy to have a case reheard.

The Thompsons maintain they didn’t know about the ordinance and only became aware of it after a state licenser for the daycare they operate out of their home brought it to their attention. In an effort to be transparent with the village, the Thompsons notified the village while also asking for an exemption so they could keep their elderly dogs.

Previously, Thompson said she didn’t disagree with the ordinance, but given the situation was asking for an exception. Subsequently the Thompsons came with letters of support from neighbors, parents from her daycare, the animals’ veterinarian and an approved exception from the state of Wisconsin as well as paperwork for each animal.

Thompson previously told the board four of the animals are nearing the end of their expected lifespan, with one of the four diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

The Thompsons asked to have the elderly animals remain with them until the end of their lives, which would then bring them into compliance with the village ordinance.

At the Sept. 25 meeting, Prairie du Sac resident Jenna McCann spoke in support of the Thompsons, calling their solution “reasonable.”

“Strong leadership is listening, engaging and considering reasonable ideas,” McCann said. “Letting the elderly animals pass away and compliance be reached is a reasonable idea. As a voting resident of Prairie du Sac, I ask you to make an exemption for this reasonable idea.”

Maria Thompson again addressed the board at the meeting, saying the animals needed them and that they didn’t think it was in the best interest of the animals to be taken away from their home so close to the end of their lives.

“I realize I did not follow the ordinance, but I feel we have offered a solution to fix the problem,” Maria Thompson said. “No harm has been done to the community.”

What’s more, she said, the animals have uplifted people at the nursing home, and helping with the emotional needs of others.

“This is my family,” Thompson said. “This has gone too far and I won’t give up on my family. They are not just animals to me, they are my family. We are asking for an exemption to keep our family together.”

It was at the conclusion of the meeting prior to adjournment Bender spoke up.

“I asked to have the animal issue put back on the agenda as one person,” Bender said. “My intent would be to talk about probationary periods and work things out for some time in the future, or look back on how many animals are left after three months or whatever time frame. I would be interested in pursuing that.”

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