Pennsylvania town passes exotic pet ordinance

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Freeland’s exotic pets expelled by ordinance

By AMANDA CHRISTMAN (Staff Writer)
Published: December 4, 2009

If you live in Freeland and have a pet puma – or any other animal considered exotic – you’ll have to pay a fee or find it a new home.

Freeland Council approved its version of an exotic pet ordinance at Thursday night’s meeting.

The ordinance was drafted and advertised to the public in November after two pet pythons went missing from an Adams Street home, to the fright of several people in the neighborhood. The snakes were eventually found, according to borough police, but residents still rallied for a ban on certain animals from becoming pets.

Now, residents who keep a pet defined under the ordinance as exotic or wild is subject to a $1,000 fine, 30 days in prison or both for each day the violation exists.

The ordinance also bans breeding or selling the animals in Freeland.

If someone has a pet considered exotic, they don’t necessarily have to get rid of it. The pet owners can obtain a $300 permit and non-conforming use status for the animal, pending borough approval. The pet in question cannot have a history of health or safety problems and the owner must fill out an application that includes the animal’s species, age and sex and a plan for housing the animal to prevent its escape.

If the pet dies or is taken from the home for any other reason, it cannot be replaced.

The permits must be obtained within 30 days of council adopting the ordinance.

Anyone who violates the ordinance must get rid of the animal or give it to the borough police department. Officers are allowed to release the animal into the wild, a zoo, or “dispose” of it in a humane manner, at the owner’s expense.

achristman@standardspeaker.com

http://www.standardspeaker.com/news/freeland-s-exotic-pets-expelled-by-ordinance-1.461253

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Elderly lions, leopard getting extra attention at Indian zoo

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Andhra Pradesh

Zoo ‘veterans’ getting special care

Staff Reporter

Fifteen animals have crossed their average life span

Most of the identified animals are carnivores

They have been moved to summer house

HYDERABAD: Hansraj has crossed the age of 20 years and so does Karuna. Even Lakshmi and Bujji have crossed the 20-year-mark and have been put in the list of animals categorised as ‘veterans’ at the Nehru Zoological Park in the city.

‘History sheets’

The zoo has took up the task of identifying animals, which have either entered their prime or crossed their average lifespan has ended up with a list of 15, most of which happens to be carnivores. “We have ‘history sheets’ of animals. In case of animals that were not born here, we go by the parentage, approximate date of birth and other factors to arrive at their age,” says S. Sarvanan, Zoo Curator.

In wilderness, the average longevity of carnivores such as lions, tigers and panthers is put at 15 years to 20 years, while in captivity, they live more.

Identified animals

Featuring in the list prepared by the zoo happen to be Asiatic lions, two African lions, one white lion and a panther. “The lifespan of panthers is known to be about 15 years and our panther has already crossed 18 years of age,” he points out.

A wild ass and a Malayan Sun Bear apart from four monkeys too have been categorised as old in age and include two Colobus monkeys, one wolf monkey and a golden rhesus monkey. Rani and Asha are the two elephants at the zoo which have crossed 65 years of age.

The zoo took up the exercise of identifying these animals to be able to provide special care such as special diets and more extensive health monitoring. “For carnivores, the usual diet is beef but in these cases we will also work on soft meat to help them feed according to their age.

Also, they will be given vitamin supplements and liver tonics,” informs Mr. Sarvanan. The identified animals have been moved to the summer house and are regularly monitored by the medical team at the zoo.

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/11/23/stories/2009112357410200.htm

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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org

Pennsylvania town to vote on exotic pet ordinance

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On the list
By AMANDA CHRISTMAN (Staff Writer)
Published: November 3, 2009

Freeland Council continued its meeting to December so it can vote on a proposed exotic pet ordinance.

The ordinance stems from an incident last week, when two pet pythons were reported missing from an Adams Street home, which alarmed several neighbors enough to ask council to ban some pets considered dangerous.

Anyone that keeps a pet defined as exotic or wild by the proposed ordinance is subject to a $1,000 fine, 30 days in prison or both, for each day the violation exists.

The proposed ordinance also bans the breeding, sale, adoption or transfer of pets considered exotic or wild.

The ordinance also provides rules for anyone that owns an exotic or wild pet in the borough now. Essentially, the ordinance states people must own the pet prior to Monday night’s council meeting, when council announced it would advertise the ordinance for 30 days.

Those pet owners can get a $300 permit and non-conforming use status for the animal pending zoning officer approval and if they meet certain criteria set by the ordinance. Those criteria include no prior health or safety problems against the pet owner. The owner must also fill out an application that includes the animal’s species, age and sex and a plan for housing the animal to prevent escape. The pet is also not allowed to roam in public freely.

When the pet dies or is removed from the home it can’t be replaced.

The permit must be obtained within 30 days of council adopting the ordinance.

Anyone that keeps a wild or exotic pet in violation of the ordinance must get rid of the animal or give it to the borough police department. Officers are allowed to release the animal to the wild, a zoo, or “dispose” of it in a humane manner, depending on the type of animal. The animal’s owner will pay the borough for the cost of removal or placement. The ordinance would be enforced by borough code, zoning, police and possibly a building code inspector.

Council will vote on the ordinance at its continued meeting. Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Once the ordinance is advertised it will be available for public inspection at the borough.

The two snakes reported missing Wednesday prompted Freeland police and fire departments to conduct a search of the neighborhood around 345 Adams St., looking for a nine-foot long and a four-foot long python.

Nicole Composto of 343 Adams St. who lives in the other half of the double home where the snakes went missing was so scared that she, her husband, Steve, and two small children stayed with a relative until Saturday night. At Monday’s council meeting, Composto thanked the borough for its quick action in dealing with the issue and for arranging for a Vector Control exterminator to inspect the homes and try to locate the smaller snake, which is still at large.

The larger snake was found later that night but the smaller python still remains at large. Solicitor Donald Karpowich said, when talking to the snake’s owner, he was told the snake likely died because its body can’t handle the cold weather.

Resident Nick Lapchak, who attended Monday’s council meeting said many people in the neighborhood were worried about the missing pythons.

Councilman John Budda asked if pit bulls could be added to the list of banned animals. Karpowich said he didn’t think it could, but noted any dog that harms a human being or has a history of aggressive behavior is banned. Sgt. Rob Maholik said the ordinance should include any dog that harms a human or another animal and Karpowich agreed to add that to the law.

achristman@standardspeaker.com Animals considered wild or exotic and, according to the ordinance, are banned from becoming pets in a Freeland home, include but aren’t limited to:

Amphibians – All venomous frogs, toads, turtles.

Bears

Felines – Lions, pumas, panthers, mountain lions, leopards, jaguars, ocelots, margays, tigers, bobcats and wild cats. It excludes common domesticated cats.

Crocodilians – All alligators, caimans, crocodiles and gavials.

Dogs – Wolf, fox, coyote, dingo or the offspring of a domestic dog that was bred with such types. Also, any dog that bites, injures or attacks a human being without being provoked, or any dog deemed dangerous under state law is banned.

Pigs – All wild or domesticated swine, excluding certified Vietnamese potbellied pigs.

Reptiles – All venomous and constricting snakes, such as boa constrictors, pythons and all venomous lizards.

Venomous invertebrates – Such as spiders and scorpions.

In addition, porcupines, skunks, sub-human primates, raccoons, civets, weasels, martens, mink, wolverines, ferrets, badgers, otters, ermine and mongoose.

Vietnamese potbellied pigs must be certified as such by a nationally recognized registry or a licensed veterinarian, they must also be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and can’t be bred. Owners must also keep proper documentation if they were advised against vaccination by a licensed veterinarian.

Domesticated ferrets are allowed but must be de-scented, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and not allowed to wander freely outside. Proper vaccination documentation on the pet ferret must be shown to a borough official upon request. Ferret breeding is banned.

– Amanda Christman

http://www.standardspeaker.com/news/on_the_list

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