AURORA – Strict new policies have some pet owners in west suburban Aurora howling mad.

Not only do they limit the number of pets residents can have, but dog owners could be fined if their dog barks for more than 15 minutes.

This week the Aurora City Council made changes to its animal control ordinance for the first time since 2000, reportedly to bring the city’s code into compliance with state laws.

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Under the new policies, a family can only own up to four “companion animals,” and only two of one type, such as two dogs or two cats.

If an animal owner wants three of one or four of another, they need to notify Aurora’s animal control agency and apply to do so.

Ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters are all considered “companion animals” under the new policy.

Families who already have four or more pets would reportedly be exempt under a grandfather clause.

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The city also changed the language regarding dog barking. as a dog cannot bark for more than 15 consecutive minutes between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. or for more than ten consecutive minutes between 10:01 p.m. and 6:59 a.m.

If it does, the dog owner would receive an excessive noise citation for $100.

Neighbors who want to report a noise violation would need to find multiple witnesses or make recordings of the barking.

The revisions also call for all dogs brought in for a bite complaint be microchipped, spayed, or neutered.

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