City leaders re-visit animal ordinance - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

City leaders re-visit animal ordinance

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WAUSAU (WAOW) --  More than eighty comments flooded our web site, hundreds of people spoke up on Facebook, and now a petition is circulating the Internet asking Wausau city leaders to give the Lecker family a break.

"Even though we haven't gotten a good reaction from city hall at least there are people who support this," James Lecker said.

According to city code, a Wausau home can have no more than two dogs. But, last month, a community service officer discovered four in the home of Melissa and James Lecker. Now, the family is asking for an exception from the city. But, the city says that doesn't exist.

"Our current ordinance doesn't allow for a variance," Wausau City Attorney Anne Jacobson said.

Out of options, the Lecker's put their home up for sale.

"We're hesitant to stay in a community which reacted this way," Lecker said.

But many people have voiced outrage, asking the city to change its mind. And that could happen. City leaders say they're in the beginning stage of re-evaluating the entire animal ordinance.

"We're always looking at our ordinances and going through and seeing what we can do," Jacobson said.

But, the Lecker's say no one from the city has made contact with them.

"She was talking about future steps that can be made but hasn't made contact with us," Lecker explains.

The Lecker's could face more than $300 per day if they don't obey the city law. But, Wausau police say they aren't going to enforce that right away, and give them time to figure out their situation.

"We do not plan on citing her immediately and we don't have a specific timeline," Chief of Police Jeff Hardel said.

Even though the family is starting pack their boxes, they say they still have hope.

"We still hope we can help the city change the ordinance or make it more accepting of pets," Lecker adds.

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