Woman Won't Give Up Her Pet

Wheeling ordinance requires 63-year-old give up one of five dogs

A Wheeling woman says she'll leave her home and the town she's lived in for 19 years before she'll give up one of her five dogs, as required by a village ordinance.

"They're my babies," 63-year-old Margaret Bucher said. "They are in a good, loving, clean home. I just can't see how they can be ripped from me."

The Daily Herald reports that Bucher lives alone and considers Pixie, Twinkles, Oscar, Bubba Bill and Gizmo as family. 

Village officials have given Bucher until Wednesday to comply with their order or face a fine of between $50 and $500 per day.

"I just can't give them up for the world," she told the Daily Herald.

Eight-year-old Pixie, a brown and white Pomeranian, has been with Bucher the longest. In 2007, Bucher bought Twinkles, Oscar and Bubba Bill from Puppy World Inc. in Buffalo Grove when they were a few months old.

Bucher said she didn't know about the village ordinance when she purchased Gizmo in January 2008.

The ordinance has been on the books since 1991, and has been tested before.

"It's not the first time we've had issues where people have complained about too many animals in a residential location. But this is the first time they have been defiant and not complied," said Deputy Police Chief Bill Benson.

"She's tying our hands and we're going to have to cite her. It's a shame that it has to come to that," he added.

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