MN family's petition to keep all 5 dogs draws huge interest


About 180 people live in Meire Grove, Minnesota, a small town south of Sauk Centre and Melrose.

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And if you're one of those 180 people, you're not allowed to keep more than two dogs on your property under a city law that passed last August.

That's a problem for Ashley Theiler's family, which has five dogs – one for medical reasons, with the other four used as sled dogs.

So Theiler started a petition online, saying the city is demanding they get rid of some dogs, and not allowing them to be grandfathered in. She wants the city council to give them an exception so they can keep all five of the animals.

Huge response on petition

The petition has gotten a ton of attention.

As of Friday evening, a whopping 15,205 people had signed the petition supporting Theiler – that's 84 times the actual population of Meire Grove.

The petition says 522 people from Minnesota have signed, which is nearly three times the town's population.

The Care2 website shared the petition on Facebook, and it picked up more than 200 comments (plus replies), 330-plus shares, and more than 900 likes (or one of those other new reactions).

However, WCCO spoke with the town's mayor, Matt Silbernick, who said the ordinance comes from nuisance complaints. He said he's not sure the city council will make an exception for the Theilers.

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Other cities' dog regulations

Some of the state's larger cities have limits on the number of dogs that can be kept in a home, but with permits available that allow you to keep more.

Minneapolis law says only three larger animals (dog, cat, ferret or rabbit) can be kept in a home at a time – but there is an option, if you want more, to apply for a permit.

The City of St. Paul requires people who want to keep more than three dogs to get a permit.

Duluth says if you have more than four dogs, you need to get a special permit.

In Rochester, current law caps the maximum number of dogs in a household at five (though breeders can get an exception).

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