updated 9/24/2007 4:08:22 AM ET 2007-09-24T08:08:22

A proposed city ordinance limiting the number of rabbits per household has some City Council members in this northern Wyoming community hopping.

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The council gave initial approval last week to an ordinance that limits rabbits to three breeding pairs a household.

"I know that rabbits are very big in Powell, and it's about time we got something like this on the books," Mayor Scott Mangold said.

Councilman Tim Sapp doesn't agree.

"I've talked with a number of my constituents, and a lot of them aren't 100 percent sure they're for letting rabbits in Powell," Sapp said.

The bunny battle started with a complaint by a resident aptly named David Haire. He is convinced that rabbits raised by his neighbor's 10-year-old daughter made him sick.

"I got the little girl crowd against me," Haire said after raising the issue with the City Council.

Even the proposed limit wasn't arrived at easily during initial debate by the council.

Councilman Jim Hillberry questioned whether allowing six rabbits would open the gate for another pet problem. An existing ordinance limits cats and dogs to just two adult animals per household.

"Are we going to allow six adult dogs at a residence?" Hillberry asked City Attorney Sandee Kitchen, who wrote the ordinance.

"That is up to you," Kitchen replied.

At one point, Police Chief Tim Feathers hopped to his feet, warning that rabbits are among the reproductive wonders of the world.

"If you have six," he said, "you're going to have a period of time where it won't be long and you'll have 60 rabbits."

The ordinance still needs final approval from the council.

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