Margaret Bucher has five dogs.
The town she lives in only allows four.
That, after the village board turned down her pleas Monday night, leaves Margaret with only a couple of options — ditch one of her beloved canines, or get the heck out of Wheeling, Illinois.
Bucher on Monday did her best to get an exemption from the rule, bringing a letter of support from her mail carrier, and a letter “written” by her dogs: “Please let us stay in our home. We are house dogs and live in a clean home. We have to depend on our owner to fight for us. She loves us very, very much.”
Only a handful of people attended the meeting, and only one person spoke out on Bucher’s behalf, according to the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.
Trustee Robert Heer blamed Bucher for “creating a circus atmosphere … You talked to every radio station and newspaper you could.” (Does Wheeling restrict the number of media outlets one can speak to, as well?)
“Laws are for all people,” Heer added. “You come with this idle threat of moving. If you choose to leave, then leave.”
Village officials had given Bucher until April 1 to give up one of her dogs or face a fine of between $50 and $500 per day. Officials later extended the deadline to give Bucher time to work out a plan. But Bucher said she couldn’t possibly choose which of her five dogs – a Pomeranian, two Maltese, a shih tzu and a Maltese/shih tzu mix – she would give up to comply with Wheeling village code.
If the village doesn’t let her keep all five dogs, she said, she’ll move.