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Meeting will discuss dog limit in Newton

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WICHITA, Kan. While volunteering at the Caring Hands Humane Society in Newton, Ashley Klein comes across a lot of dogs she'd like to take home.

"Oh ya, it's hard, it's very hard," Klein said.

Unfortunately, she already has two dogs, and in Newton, that's the limit. At a meeting tonight, the city commission is considering changes to that ordinance.

"It's pretty restrictive," said Caring Hands Humane Society Executive Director Kevin Stubbs. "I know there are families very capable of having more than two dogs and we've had to turn away adoptions before."

Stubbs says Newton needs to get more in line with surrounding communities. Wichita, Andover and Derby all allow four dogs per household, McPherson has a limit of three, but Newton remains the outlier in the area with just two dogs allowed. It's a restriction that has played a factor in where Lori Smith lives.

"I lived in Newton for five years, and always found myself above the limit," Smith said. "So we moved out of town so that we could have the limit."

Ashley Klein hopes changing the ordinance would not only keep more people in the city, but also help get more of the kennels emptied.

"I don't think it will be immediate that everyone comes running to the shelter like 'we want two more dogs'," Klein said. "But I think it will make a difference in the population here at the shelter."

The open house meeting with the city commission will be Wednesday night from 5 to 6:30 at City Hall in the third floor conference room. The possibility of building a dog park in Newton will also be up for discussion.


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