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Published: Thursday, 9/5/2013

Zoning board in Ohio city says ailing woman with 7 dogs can keep only 2


FAIRFIELD, Ohio — An Ohio woman with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease must get rid of five of her seven dogs, a city zoning board has ruled.

Karen Glardon said she will file a legal challenge to Wednesday’s ruling by the Fairfield board of zoning appeals, which voted unanimously to deny her request for a variance to keep all seven dogs.

“Why are they doing this to me?” Glardon asked after the meeting. “I’m not getting rid of my dogs. Those dogs are not going anywhere unless they want to cut the chain off of the fence that’s on there, and then they are going to be charged with theft.”

Glardon, 57, says her dogs are therapeutic, helping her battle her ailments. But the city’s nearly 30-year-old pet regulation limits residents to two adult dogs or cats older than four months on a residential lot.

A neighbor had complained about dogs barking, and a June inspection found more than two dogs present on the property.

Glardon said she will challenge the ruling under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The board said the dogs don’t meet requirements to be considered service dogs.

“All were acquired for personal reasons other than therapy,” the board, which had postponed action last month to study the situation further, said in a statement. It also expressed concern about the precedent it would set by granting her variance.

Board Chairman Ron Siciliano said the city is asking that all but two of the dogs be removed within 60 days.

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