Kiski Township explores restrictions on unique animals

Kiski Township’s Dominic Hayward dotes on his pet alligators Diamond, Diva, Gisele, Ruby, Rebel,
Chevelle, Speckles, Thor, Loki and Reece.

A lover of alligators since he was a child, Hayward, 24, is as passionate about his gators as anyone with more common animals such as a German shepherd or labradoodle.

“They are like puppies and cats to me,” Hayward mentioned. “I appreciate them. I choose care of them. They are really interesting animals to have.”

Not all people sees it that way.

Residents have named the township with fears about the prospect of unique pets getting unfastened, these as a person of Hayward’s alligators or one of the purported 100 venomous snakes at an additional township location, in accordance to Supervisor Chuck Rodnicki and police Sgt. Thomas Dessell.

“You just want to hope these are liable individuals that have them securely locked away so they never get free,” Rodnicki explained.

Hayward said he agrees there need to be some diploma of regulation, as extended as it is not way too restrictive for dependable proprietors of exotic pets.

“If you are somebody who has no practical experience and doesn’t know what you are executing and you panic, that is not very good,” Hayward reported, adding pet proprietors require to be educated on caring for their animals.

Animal authorities have checked on the wellness of Hayward’s alligators and located no violations, according to Kiski Township law enforcement.

Heyward mentioned he knows some people today don’t deal with their unique pets perfectly, often for the reason that he reported they really don’t know what they are performing. He claimed he acquired some of his alligators just after observing pictures in a Craigslist ad that appeared to clearly show them hunting malnourished.

He is vital of individuals who acquire alligators and then release them into the wild simply because they can’t effectively consider care of them.

Hayward does not assume his alligators pose a hazard to the public. He stated he retains them locked up, and they aren’t fascinated in people today anyway.

The township passed an ordinance before this yr demanding citizens with unique animals to sign up the animals with the municipality so emergency responders are knowledgeable of the animals in case of an unexpected emergency phone.

“We’re not declaring you’re not permitted to have these animals,” Rodnicki said. “We’re not likely to confiscate them.”

Kiski Township hasn’t experienced any concerns with escaped unique animals, but Rodnicki said he is involved about somebody acquiring a large number of venomous snakes and one particular obtaining unfastened.

There have been cases across the location of alligators, presumed to be pets that grew as well significant and were produced by their house owners, turning up in local waterways. In other places, a cobra, presumably also a pet, was discovered and killed in a suburban Philadelphia garden a handful of years in the past.

Rodnicki reported the township’s solicitor is checking out no matter whether authorities can limit the number of exotic animals a resident can individual.

Other states these kinds of as Ohio and West Virginia have restrictions in position. In Ohio, the owner of a venomous snake ought to pay out for a license and have insurance coverage and at least two several years of working experience caring for that snake species.

In Pennsylvania, there are state regulations on proudly owning indigenous wildlife and nonnative mammals, but there isn’t just about anything governing the quantity of animals a individual can have or conditions for owning a perhaps perilous nonnative reptile these kinds of as an alligator or venomous snake.

“If you want to have a king cobra, there is no condition regulation that addresses the ownership of exotic animals,” explained Mike Parker, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Nevertheless, if a resident would like to have a native venomous snake such as a timber rattlesnake or copperhead, the commission will grant 1 native venomous snake permit a yr to a resident with a fishing license.

Point out Rep. Abby Significant, R-Ford Town, is checking out regulatory laws with colleagues and the Fish and Boat Commission, which oversees the welfare of the state’s indigenous reptiles and amphibians.

Beforehand proposed legislation virtually a decade back did not receive more than enough assistance, she reported.

In the absence of point out laws, Major claimed, “A municipality can ban, limit or need permits – they have complete authority.”

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Evaluate personnel author. You can get in touch with Mary at 724-226-4691, or by way of Twitter .

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