MANKATO — Mankatoans who own more than three dogs may find themselves in violation of city ordinances in the coming months.
The city is seriously considering tightening its animal control ordinance after a renter near Minnesota State University housed five Doberman pinschers, a Labrador retriever and a Dalmatian in a residential neighborhood, driving some neighbors crazy with the noise, waste and odor that resulted.
"The biggest conclusion is there's not enough bite in the ordinance," said Councilman Mark Frost, who represents the Haynes Street residents who have dealt for nearly a year with the dog-filled neighboring home.
Some of those neighbors met with the City Council last week to explain how the ordinance fell short of keeping the peace in their Highland Park neighborhood. They described the seven dogs being let out several times a day — even in the middle of the night — into a fenced-in area little larger than the conference room where the council was meeting.
They talked about the dogs barking and playing and fighting in the confined space, and the dogs' owner loudly and obscenely shouting at the animals in an attempt to get them to settle down. They described the dogs' feces being tossed into the adjacent ravine.
"We've been complaining for a year," said Carol Horrisberger, who lives two houses east of the seven-dog home.
Her husband, Paul Horrisberger, clarified that they only began complaining to the city, through their neighborhood association, for about five months.
"We've been complaining to each other for a year," said Rosemary Krawczyk, the neighbor directly east of the dog house.
Krawczyk said Megan Lundin moved in with five dogs, and even that number was a serious problem. The dogs were loud, and so was Lundin. The setbacks between homes in the neighborhood is minimal, so Krawczyk's bedroom was just a few feet from where the dogs were doing their thing.