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Woman fights Layton City over pet ordinance

LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A woman living in Layton with her parents is battling the city over an ordinance that could force her to either get rid of her dogs or move.
LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A woman living in Layton with her parents is battling the city over an ordinance that could force her to either get rid of her dogs or move.

Julie Erskine moved into her parents' Layton home a year ago to help them cope with illness, but her parents already have two dogs. Layton city says a total of four dogs is too many animals for one home. The ordinance was adopted earlier this year and limits the number of dogs per household to two.

Erskine registered her dogs Max, a miniature Doberman Pinscher who is blind in one eye and Huneez, a Pomeranian/Shih Tzu mix in Layton last month.  Shortly afterward, she was slapped with a ticket and a fine of $175 for violating the ordinance. 

"It wasn't long after that, that we got the ticket on the door saying we were in violation of having four dogs here," said Erskine.

Julie's father recently petitioned the Layton City Council for a temporary waiver, but was denied on the grounds of avoiding precedent. "They said no, we can't do it.  If we do it for you, we have to do it for everybody," said Erskine.

Davis County Animal Control says they don't have much choice in the matter and that they have to enforce city ordinances.  Even though the county would not euthanize the animals, they would possibly try to get Julie's dogs adopted into another home.

"Not only are they my best friends, they're my little companions.  Giving them away is not an option," said Erskine of her dogs.

Forced with the possibility of having to move, Julie says she feels like she's being punished for following the law. "I could have easily lied like anybody else, but it wasn't the right thing to do."

Erskine has less than 30 days to determine what to do with her dogs.  Otherwise, Davis County will collect them and Julie will be left with a fine and court date.

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