"I have around 25 cats--eleven dogs," said Pat Williams. Some would call all those animals in one place, a zoo. But Williams said her home is the only home many of the animals have ever known. "Most of the animals have been dropped off on my door with notes. We've rescued cats from people moving and abandoning them." She said she provides a service, but her Mineola neighbors said all she's providing is a headache.
"We own seven and a half acres here," said Paula Shade. "We bought it so we can have a nice quiet, tranquil retirement. It's far from that."
Back in January, a new city animal protection ordinance took affect making it illegal to have more than four dogs or cats in any household within the city limits. Dion Miller, city administrator in Mineola, said the new ordinance is about finding a balance.
"Animals and pets can add to the quality of life for some individuals, and they can take it away for others," he said. "You have to draw a line somewhere, and the council drew it at four."
It's a line even someone with black cats is willing to cross. "I do not see me doing anything wrong," she said. "I think if a responsible pet owner can manage and take care of more than four pets, I don't feel like they should be penalized."
But others weren't so sure. Jill Scott said she owns two pets, but doesn't see why anyone would need six or seven or ten.
The issue has left some in the city fighting like cats and dogs.