REED CITY — An exotic pet ordinance was tabled at the Reed City Council meeting while members wait for a concise definition of what qualifies as exotic.
This exotic pet issue “goes back a couple of years,” according to Reed City Manager Ron Howell.
“Historically cities and towns have rules and laws for cats and dogs,” he continued, “but people have changed as have their idea of what is considered a pet.”
Howell used the example of when a person who moved to town had a miniature horse and called it their pet. According to Howell, the horse was allowed to come inside and was treated the same way a “typical pet would be treated.”
“The issue has become people thinking they can keep ‘exotic’ pets and the answer is that they can’t,” he continued.
Rules and regulations are provided for keeping nondomestic pets, said Howell, and this ordinance would help in making sure that those animals were kept as they should be.
“I mean the worse case scenario is that someone decides they want to keep a mountain lion as a pet,” said Howell. “But let’s just say someone wants to keep a potbelly pig, well the ‘potbelly pig society’ has rules and regulations as to what their environment needs to be like.”
Before the council could discuss the ordinance, Howell asked that they table any discussion until he and the City Attorney Cynthia Wotila had a chance to get a definitive idea of what the animals that would fall under the ordinance.
“It did not recognize that ‘pets’ have changed so much and where the line is drawn,” said Howell. “It’s not just dogs, cats and parakeets anymore. So we have to get a better list from zoning administration and continue from there.”