Iowa county passes exotic animal ordinance

Tom McMahon, Staff Writer

ATLANTIC – Cass County residents have new laws that require animal owners to be more responsible, retailers to register beer kegs they sell and regulate any adult businesses that might move into their county.

The Cass County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the three ordinances Oct. 11 on the final reading.

Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner said the ordinances are proactive and not enacted in response to any specific problem….

The new animal control ordinance states animal owners must provide sufficient food, water, shelter and humane treatment; keep areas where animals are confined clean; keep pets from defecating on others’ property and prohibits abandoning an animal within the county.

The law also limits owners to six dogs and 10 cats, except for breeders, and would outlaw ownership of dangerous or exotic animal, including bison, free-ranging elk, whitetail deer or mule deer, wild sheep and wild goats. Feistner said two animals previously on that list have been moved to the livestock category.

Shelby County resident Pam Sokolowski had asked the supervisors to consider removing alpacas from the exotic animal category into the livestock category.

Feistner said a further review of state law allowed moving those animals, along with llamas, into the livestock classification, making it easier for residents to legally keep them.

Under the new law, Cass County residents are also barred from keeping a vicious dog unless it is kept in a secured pen or kennel. The ordinance provides seven categories of viciousness, including approaching someone in a terrorizing manner, attacking and causing a disturbance.

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