Ron Holowka questioned the efficacy of the licensing regime in curbing puppy mills at the special meeting of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. (CBC)

A proposed update to the City of Ottawa's kennel licensing laws that would set limits on the number of dogs or cats in-house breeders can have in their home has been put over until December.

Residents from across rural Ottawa turned out for the special meeting in Greely Thursday night, with many angry about proposed changes to bylaws for kennels and dog and cat breeders.

The Animal Care and Control bylaw puts limits on the number of dogs (three) or cats (five) a homeowner in the city can have, but the changes would allow licensed in-house breeders to be exempt from the rule and carry up to 10 adult animals provided they pay a separate licensing fee of $75.

Licensed in-house breeders would not be permitted to have more than 10 animals over the age of 20 weeks. Only licensed kennels would be able to have more than 10 animals.

The city is updating the licensing laws to set consistent standards for kennels in the city, as many former rural municipalities since incorporated into the city had varying degrees of standards that applied to the operation of a kennel, including hygiene and enclosure size.

The city is also trying to help prevent puppy mills.

Puppy mills won't get a license, resident says

Rural residents who turned out for the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting were upset with the limitations and said it won't stop puppy mill operators.

"Quite frankly, I don't think puppy-millers are going to apply for a license," said Greely resident Ron Holowka.

"You can tell me how many street-gang members are going to apply for a gun license. It's absolutely ridiculous to spend all this time and effort…we're talking about responsible in-home breeders."

Dog-team owner Timothy Pychyl said the bylaw also didn't adequately address ownership of what he called "recreational kennels" such as his, where large groups of animals are kept not for breeding, but for pursuits such as sled-dog sports, hunting or search-and-rescue operations.

After hearing from the community, the committee deferred their decision until a December meeting, after city staff and stakeholders finished consultation.