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Rockton city leaders remind citizens of the 5 domestic animal limit per household

(WIFR)
Published: May. 2, 2018 at 6:13 PM CDT
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ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) -- Roughly 12 animals living in a Rockton home fought to escape a fire Tuesday, some made it out safely, others did not. The tragedy is prompting the Village of Rockton to remind residents about its domestic animal ordinance.

"Rockton has an ordinance that sets the maximum amount of domestic animals per household at five," said Dale Adams, the Village President in Rockton.

As firefighters battled a blaze Tuesday at a home in the 600 block of Chapel Street, they fought to save an unusual mix of residents. Five dogs, three pot belly pigs and several exotic birds got out safely, but three cats and a bearded dragon died. Leaders say that number of pets violated a village ordinance.

"In this case, we were not aware of any problems at this house. We were not called, nobody has notified us about any noises or any smells, which would be typical of a house having that many animals," said Deputy Chief Matt Hollinger with the Rockton Police Department.

Police say this situation is rare in Rockton.

"There were pigs in the basement, cats in the upstairs, dogs in one bedroom and parrots in another bedroom, so it was probably pretty crowded in there," said Adams.

City leaders say the ordinance protects the quality of life for not only the people in the home but also the neighbors.

"The noise, the waste and the care would probably be a factor in being able to maintain that many animals," said Adams.

Adams says citizens can call the village or police department if they believe their neighbors have more than five domestic animals.

"Ideally, with an ordinance like this, we try to get the homeowner in compliance where they try to find shelter or somebody else takes those animals so they can meet that level that we expect," said Hollinger.

Tuesday's fire is blamed on a heat lamp in a reptile cage. It caused about $35,000 in damage.

No people were hurt, but the house can't be lived in. The Red Cross is helping the family.