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A Dallas couple has been ordered by the city to give up all their cats and dogs following a complaint from their neighbors.

For Lynn Gideon, her pets are like the children she never had.

“Coco, Fred, Jackson, Lulu, Ricky, Penny, Betty, Baby, Bart, Bootsy, Lily,” she spouts off their names. “Popeye, Wimpy, Scout, Boudreaux and Harry Potter.”

Most of her 17 dogs and cats have lived with her for more than a decade. But in a few weeks they’ll all have to go.

The Gideons explained that while the city does limit the number of animals a person can own, they were able to legally register all of their animals under a grandfather clause. They have never been cited.

However, recently a neighbor called Dallas Animal Services to complain. An inspector cited them for unclean premises and odor. And, those two citations allow the city to revoke all of their pet registrations.

“I think it’s the worse thing ever and I think it’s extremely unfair,” Gideon said.

The couple appealed, arguing their case in front of the city’s 10-member permit board.

“It was a five-to-five tie. The tie went to the city,” Gideon said.

Nearly all of the family’s animals are elderly and have health problems. For example, 14-year-old Ricky is deaf and has trouble walking. So the Gideons worry no one will want to adopt their pets or give them the care they need.

“I just don’t think they would be as happy as they are with us,” Gideon said.

The city has ordered the pets be out of the home by Valentine’s Day. It will be a heart-breaking day, the couple said.

“I just can’t believe this is happening. It’s like a nightmare. It’s the worst thing that could happen, I think,” Gideon said.