A WOMAN who shares her house with 23 cats and dogs is fighting council demands she get rid of half of her menagerie.
Invalid pensioner Jennifer Martin has 11 more pets than she is allowed under Whittlesea local council animal laws in north Melbourne.
But she said her pets were her family and it would break her heart to part from any of them.
"These animals have been taken in by me and some of them have taken three or four years to socialise," Ms Martin said.
"Why would anyone think of taking them from me when we are family. All this worry has stressed and heart-broken me."
Ms Martin, 55, claims she has more than enough money, room and love to go around. Since her own home burned down in January, she has been living with a friend.
"We have seven dogs each in our own names and there are another nine cats," she said.