A Waldheim family found themselves over the limit for furry friends -- but they say town officials initially allowed it and they're treating them differently from their neighbours.

Doug and Karen Cannings have three dogs and three cats, which they registered last November. Waldheim limits homes to a maximum of two of each pet. 

The family received a letter from the town earlier this year ordering them to get rid of one dog and one cat by November 15. If they don't, they'll face a fine of $100, followed by monthly fines of $500 as long as they still have all of the animals. 

Town signed off on 6 pets last year

Doug Cannings said the letter came as a surprise.

"The town administrator sold me three licenses for my dogs and three for my cats as long as I promised that when one passed away I wouldn't replace it and I would be down to two," he said. 

The letter was signed by the town's administrator, Chris Adams, whose signature is also on the licensing receipts for his six pets. 

Adams declined an interview with CBC.

Cannings says their pets aren't bothering anyone.

"We are looking after them and trying to fit into the town but obviously they are going to stand behind their little bylaw and say you can't do it."

In a statement, Waldheim's mayor Barbara Shultz said that the town was 'simply trying to implement a bylaw that is fair to [the] entire community'.

Neighbour given more time to comply

The Hutt family, who live across the street from the Cannings, are also in violation of the bylaw. They have three dogs in their home, yet have been given a one year exemption before they face fines.

"Most people don't even know there is a two dog limit bylaw.  I am sure that if most people knew what Doug and Karen are going through, they would be appalled," said Alice Hutt. 

Mayor Shultz declined comment on the issue.