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#1190241 - 11/10/11 05:07 PM Progress at the city council meeting!
Feather Online   gc/lgc
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11940
Loc: Wisconsin
I am a member of a forum on yahoo that is basically about Wisconsin laws and peoples pets, horses, etc.

A week ago it was brought up that the city of Middleton was going to implement a ordinance on wild animals as pets similar to the cit of Madison's ordinance.

The city of Madison's ordinance reads as follows:

"(18) Keeping of Wild Animals Prohibited.
(a) No person shall keep, harbor, possess or maintain a wild, dangerous or undomesticated animal within the City of Middleton. For the purposes of this subsection, a wild, dangerous, or undomesticated animal is any animal which is not of a species customarily kept as an ordinary household pet, but one that would ordinarily be confined to a zoo, or one that would ordinarily be found in the wilderness of this or any other country, or one which otherwise causes a reasonable person to be fearful of bodily harm or property damage. Such animals include, but are not limited to:
1. Nonhuman primates and prosimians (chimpanzees, monkeys);
2. Felids, except domesticated cats;
3. Canids (wolf, coyotes, foxes) except domesticated dogs;
4. Prairie dogs;
5. Elephants;
6. Cocodilians (alligators, crocodiles);
7. Marsupials (kangaroos, opossums);
8. Ungulates (hippopotamus, rhinoceros);
9. Hyenas;
10. Mustelids (skunks, otters, badgers) except ferrets;
11. Procyonids (raccoons, coatis);
12. Dasypodidae (anteaters, sloth, armadillos);
13. Viverrids (mongooses, civets, genets);
14. Reptilia over ten (10) feet in length (boa constrictors, pythons);
15. Venomous reptilia.
(b) The prohibitions of this subsection shall not apply to:
1. Animals kept, harbored, possessed or maintained in accordance with a valid license issued under Wis. Stats. Chaps. 169 or 95;
2. Animals kept, harbored, possessed or maintained by a veterinarian, for the purpose of providing medical treatment to such animal;
3. A public zoo or aquarium accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association;
- 2 -
07591.111292-1mjf-271011kk​a
Wild Animals (16.05(18))
4. A circus as defined under Wis. Stats. 169.01(4);
5. Animals kept pursuant to authorization of the Department of Natural Resources.

They have a blanket no marsupials, which as written includes sugar gliders.

I requested that they exempt sugar gliders they way they exempted ferrets. I even had eight of the fuzz butts with me to help me show that they are not dangerous, maybe dangerously cute.

I had emailed them earlier in the week, but seeing as no one replied to my emails I decided it was in the sugar gliders best interest to attend this meeting.

They have tabled voting on this ordinance until they can explore the dangerous reptiles and snakes further, one of the committee members is on the board at the college and she is going to consult with Dr. Kurt Sladky, who is head of special species at the college, I have met him and I feel that he will most certainly put in a good word for the sugar gliders.

I will be attending the monthly meetings until this ordinance is voted on as to make sure that sugar gliders are well represented.

Next I will be writing letters to the city of Madison mayor and council members to get the existing ordinance amended to exempt sugar gliders they way ferrets are exempted.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1190257 - 11/10/11 06:11 PM Re: Progress at the city council meeting! [Re: Feather]
sphynxie Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 913
Loc: Casper, Wyoming
Good for you!
_________________________
Melonie

:grey: :wfb: :leu: :rtmo: :plat: :cream:


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#1198341 - 11/30/11 01:28 PM Re: Progress at the city council meeting! [Re: Feather]
Feather Online   gc/lgc
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11940
Loc: Wisconsin
I was just forwarded an article about the city council meeting that I attended last month.

Here is is:


What makes a Pet?
City Considering ordinance to ban some animals
by Matt Geiger
Times-Tribune

A tale of men in Madison roaming the streets accompanied by leashed alligators prompted the City of Middleton to draft an ordinance prohibiting the keeping of wild or dangerous animals.

But the proverbial devil is in the details, and a recent license and ordinance committee meeting on the proposal attracted citizens who said they want to make sure innocuous pets don't end up banned alongside their more dangerous counterparts.

Which animals the city will ultimately prohibit is not yet set in stone, and members of the committee plan to revisit the topic in December before making a recommendation to the full common council.

The potential changes are being drawn up as communities across the country examine their rules, following a bizarre incident in Ohio in October when a man set free his menagerie-including lions, tigers, and bears- before turning a gun on himself and ending his own life.

Here in the Good neighbor City, Capt. Charles Foulke of the Middleton Police Department recently received a call from an Animal Control agent in Madison. Foulke learned that a man who owned a pet alligator was planning to leave the Isthmus, where such animals are prohibited, and move to Middleton where no such ordinance was on the books. Foulke also learned that authorities in Madison had recently seized another alligator from a second man.

So at a Nov. 9 meeting, the Middleton License and Ordinance Committee (L&O) began developing a new set of local rules. The initial draft included an outright ban on several types of animal. The ordinance stated:

"No person shall keep, harbor, possess, or maintain a wild, dangerous or undomesticated animal within the city of Middleton. For the purposes of this subsection, a wild, dangerous, or undomesticated animal is any animal which is not of a species cutomarily kept as an ordinary household pet, but one that would ordinarily be found in the wilderness of this or any other country, or one which otherwise causes a reasonable person to be fearful of bodily harm or property damage."

It went on to list various prohibited animals including marsupials, hyenas, wolves, chimpanzees, venomous reptilia, and snakes over 10 feet in length.

But a group of citizens attended the meeting to express concerns about how the new rules would impact people who currently keep unconventional pets. One woman who runs a rescue for sugar gliders, a minuscule and increasingly popular pet marsupial, even bought some of the animals to the meeting to show to members of the committee.

Most critics said they weren't opposed to more clearly defined regulations, but they urged the city to tweak the list or come up with a permitting system that would allow more reptiles to be kept as pets.

The L&O committee responded by deferring a vote on the ordinance until at least next month. In the meantime, alderwoman Susan West (Dist. 6), a member of the committee and a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, gathered input from some of her colleagues. West said many exotic pets could pose a risk to public safety, but she added that the animals themselves could be the ones that suffer if kept inproperly as pets.

"This ordinance is about more than public safety", she said. "There are animal welfare concerns too. If an animal gets loose, our police don't have any way to humanely capture it, and we can't have them carrying tranquilizer darts on them at all times."

West was referencing the gruseome scene that unfolded in Ohio, where officers worried about public safety gunned down many of the escaped animals, some of which were endangered species.

West also pointed out that state laws already prohibit the keeping of native wildlife as pets. She said some of her biggest concerns have to do with venomous pets.

But some reptile enthusiasts at the L&O meeting voiced a different perspective.

"I and several other members of the Madison Area Herpetological Society (MAHS) attended the meeting to advocate and suggest alternative permitting or other alternative regulations surrounding secure containment, transport, bite and accident protocols, and other best management practices for certain reptiles", said eric Roscoe, of Madison.

Roscoe said MAHS' primary goal is to educate the public about "frequently misunderstood reptiles and amphibians." "It is a source for people to exchange knowledge, from amatauer hobbyists to experts" he said of the group. "MAHS also gives communities a basis for expertise on issues dealing with local and state laws, ordinances, and conservation".

""We support regulation and best management practices of large snake species, venomous reptiles, and crocodilians as outlined by the United States Association of Reptile Keepers", he added.

Roscoe went on to say MAHS opposes legislation "designating any reptiles as dangerous or inherently dangerous; or banning the private ownership and trade in any reptiles based on unsubtantiated and false claims of public safety risk".

Jill Kranz, director of the Middleton Senior Center and a volunteer at the Henry Vilas Zoo for the past 25 years, disagreed. She explained her support for the proposed ordinance-and broader pet regulations- in an email to the committee.

"I whole heartedly support a ban on average citizens keeping any kind of wild or exotic animals", she wrote. "The entire state of Wisconsin needs a ban on keeping wild animals,' Kranz added. "But that's probably a discussion for another day."

Alderman Paul Kinne (Dist. 1), who serves on the L&O committee, said the city hopes to craft a set of rules that prohibit dangerous animals without punishing citizens who keep harmless but perhaps unconventional pets.

"Susan [West] wanted to talk to her colleagues about some of the taxonomy issues, for lack of a better term- to help us better define what is harmless and what is not," Kinne stated. "I don't think our goal is to keep people from having perfectly harmless pets."

One question the city faces is whether the ordinance should list every prohibited animal, or whether it should list those species that are allowed, while implicitly banning all others.

Kinne said coming up with the right set of rules to pass along to the Middleton Common Council could take time. "I won't be surprised if we don't come up with our final recommendation by the end of the next meeting," he stated.

Middleton resident Ryan McVeigh is president of Mad City Reptiles, a group committed to educating the public about reptilian pets and promoting social acceptance. he said the L&O committee appeared to listen to his concerns and recommendations.

"I think they did", he said after the meeting.

McVeigh owns several reptiles but said none of them would be banned under the proposed ordinance. Still, he said reptiles and their owners suffer from a bad public image, even though more acceptable pets such as dogs, cats, and horses cause far more injuries each year. (Critics have pointed out that those pets are far more common, hence the higher numbers).

"The thing in Ohio was just so unfortunate," he said. "One very sick guy lets a bunch of animals out and then committs suicide, so you see a wave of these types of laws emerging."

But McVeigh contended that most exotic pet owners are upstanding members of society.

"When they think of a snake owner a lot of people envision some biker covered in tattoos or a creepy guy who lives in his mom's basement, for instance", he stated. "That's not an accurate perception."

"It's similar to what has happened with pit bulls," he added. "Before that it was Rottweilers and before that it was Dobermans. The truth is when there's a problem it's the owner, not the type of animal that is usually at fault. But everyone needs a scape goat."

McVeigh opposed an ordinance banning venomous pets. He advocated in favor of one that includes a permitting system. he said lockable cages, visible signage, and nearby information about a pet's anti toxins could all be required.

He went on to say there is little danger of pet snakes and other reptiles escaping and surviving in the wild, as sometimes happens in warmer climates.

"Personal safety is very much up to the individual," McVeigh said. "Public safety shouldn't be too much of a problem because these animals simply can't live in the wild in Wisconsin. This isn't Florida."

Whatever form the ordinance ends up taking, Middleton residents should not expect to see anyone walking a pet alligator down local streets anytime soon. Foulke said the Madison man who had been considering moving here eventually opted not to.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1198358 - 11/30/11 02:04 PM Re: Progress at the city council meeting! [Re: Feather]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
How many THOUSANDS of gliders are kept as "ordinary household pets"? Yes, they are an exotic animal and have some more complicated needs (compared to a dog or cat) but...to be fair, they should have to also ban hamsters and rats as pets too. I see them all in a similar catagory EXCEPT Gliders carry fewer diseases (no rabies!) and are much less prolific and less destructive than rodents.
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#1198412 - 11/30/11 03:43 PM Re: Progress at the city council meeting! [Re: Feather]
Feather Online   gc/lgc
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11940
Loc: Wisconsin
That is why I am attending these meetings. The city of Madison already has this ordinance in place, I am working on getting Sugar Glider exempted.

But the sad fact is since the guy in Ohio released those animals there are a lot of communities looking to put these types of ordinances in place.

They are not looking at this man was clinically depressed, he released the animals and then committed suicide. They are only looking at the large amount of large exotic animals on the loose that all had to be shot.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1198454 - 11/30/11 05:11 PM Re: Progress at the city council meeting! [Re: Feather]
lovely1inred
Unregistered


It is unfortunate that one bad apple stands to ruin the whole barrel. Gliders on the loose are not the same as a Bengal tiger.

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#1198502 - 11/30/11 06:38 PM Re: Progress at the city council meeting! [Re: Feather]
SugarBattyPatty Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 1094
Loc: Brooksville, Florida
I don't believe these animals could live in the wild here in Florida either. Thank you so much Kimberly for your v clapery hard work. Maybe other states/cities can use this as an example when you win.
_________________________
SugarBattyPatty
AKA Pat
Mommy to: Sparky :wfb: and Precious :wfb:
Gizmo :wfb:



There is no sin in being ignorant, there is in remaining ignorant.

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#1198538 - 11/30/11 07:35 PM Re: Progress at the city council meeting! [Re: Feather]
ValkyrieMome Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 01/13/07
Posts: 10983
Loc: Denton, TX
Sadly they do live in the wild in Florida. They are wonderful pets to me - but they are thriving in the Florida wild and doing un-told damage to the ecosystem and native species.

The laws need to focus on people who release these animals, not people who keep these animals! It would be difficult to further punish a depressed man who committed suicide. However, people casually release all manner of birds, reptiles, rodents and, yes, marsupials, all the time.

Good job, Kim! You show them that our babies aren't a threat to Wisconsin!!
_________________________
Alden
"Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored." Alice Walker


Mom to Valhalla; 6 cats; 1 macaw; 2 hedgehogs;
and very many great gliders!

(plus the 2 skin kids)
valkyriegliders.com

Kyrie, nothing will ever fill the hole you left in my heart.

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