Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Turtle: Running at Large

Okay, I am NOT making this up.

Our local newspaper printed a story about the city council's decision to change the city's animal ordinance to make it easier to prosecute owners of unruly pets.

Under the current ordinance, the owner is ticketed only if a pet's bite breaks the skin in an attack. With the new law, owners can be ticketed and ordered to appear before a municipal court judge if their pet "bites, attacks or causes bodily injury." Also, pets that make a second trip to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter would have to get a microchip ID implant.

The following is a snippet from the actual discussion at the council meeting:

Councilwoman Georgia Broyles: The change will make a difference in the health, safety and welfare of our citizens.

Councilwoman Judy Case: A constituent called me about a pet turtle. It has bitten people on occasion and he was concerned he'd have to purchase a microchip ID for his reptilian companion.

Broyles: Is the turtle running at large?

City Attorney Claudio Angelos: I do not believe the ordinance applies to turtles.

Case: It was my understanding the ordinance applies to animals with spines.

Angelos: If you're referring to animals with vertebrae, yes, I suppose you could have a turtle with rabies, but I don't think it would be running at large.

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