GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - After much recent debate, residents in Gautier will not be limited on how many pets they can have. That decision was made at the city council meeting Tuesday night. After almost an hour of changing and rearranging, Gautier's newest Animal Control Ordinance passed with a 5 to 2 vote.
Mayor Gordon Gollott said passing this ordinance hasn't been an easy process.
"We looked at it very long and hard and we feel that we've got a good ordinance now," said Gollott.
He said it's taken months of planning and editing.
"We need to listen to our citizens and try to make them satisfied as to a good place to live here in the city of Gautier," said Gollott.
There have been at least three different public hearings to allow citizens to voice concerns, and those led to the list of changes that were made to the ordinance. The amendments went through, for the most part, without a hitch. But Ward 2 Councilman Hurley Guillotte was quick to vote no to most of the amendments.
When voicing his opposition Guillotte said, "I, personally, for one person, would like to see us go back and take the one we got."
Guillotte said he's worried someone might be able to abuse the new ordinance.
"I'm concerned it leaves a hole for somebody that doesn't like somebody or a neighbor. This will give them more power to create problems in the community," said Guillotte.
But the council audience didn't seem to have any objections. Especially when the controversial pet limit was removed from the ordinance. Gautier resident Garfield Means said he feels confident that the city can manage without having a limit.
"Well, from speaking to the code enforcers and the animal control, I think they have a method of probably handling this and I really commend the city for taking up this issue," said Means.
Other changes included redefining what the city determines is a vicious animal, and making it clear that agricultural districts did not require permits for agricultural animals. City officials said this was the first time in over ten years that the Animal Control Ordinance has been changed.