By The Quad City Times
Sunday, September 17, 2006
MAQUOKETA, Iowa – Council members are revamping this city’s animal ordinance, two months after authorities seized a black bear and several cougars from a nearby farm.
No longer can residents have sharks in their bathtub or elephants in their backyard. Nor can they keep lions and tigers and bears in this eastern Iowa city.
That’s bad news for anyone who has a pet collection like Randy and Pam Garien, who had 55 animals seized from their rural Maquoketa farm in July after reports of animal neglect. No charges were filed, and three cougars and several horses and dogs were returned to the farm.
Council members say exotic animals have not been a problem here, and the main reason for the makeover is to create a licensing system for cats and dogs.
The licensing proposal has been discussed for almost a year by council committees. If the new ordinance passes Monday, residents who have cats and dogs must license them annually beginning Oct. 1 for $5 each.
Police Chief Brad Koranda said revenues from the licenses will be used to buy the tags and help offset officer costs. He said the city pays $12,000 annually to the Jackson County Humane Society to take care of stray pets.