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Posted by W von Papinešu on February 06, 2003 at 16:32:58:
In Reply to: What happened at the Murrieta City Council meeting tonight.. posted by BenR79 on February 05, 2003 at 02:02:21:
PRESS-ENTERPRISE (Riverside, California) 06 February 03 City boots snake limits
Murrieta: Snake owners can uncoil and breathe a little easier.
The City Council voted Tuesday night to not go forward with a law restricting the size, type and number of snakes allowed in the city.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Councilman Brian Youens said. "We have no problem in our jurisdiction, so why do we expect there to be in the future."
Councilman Warnie Enochs brought the ordinance before the City Council on Tuesday night after receiving a few phone calls from concerned residents. They had learned a neighbor had several large snakes, and were worried about their safety.
Enochs said he wanted to see if any of the council membersthought the issue should be reviewed. Enochs introduced the ordinance which would have kept residents from owning snakes more than 5 feet long, possessing any venomous snakes, and owning a large number of the reptiles.
Any resident wishing to own a snake that violated the ordinance would need a city permit.
But council members said there was no way to police such an ordinance and the law would unfairly target snake owners.
"You don't own a dog and then when it gets over a certain level, start chopping pieces off," Councilman Kelly Seyarto said. "You are asking these people to own a pet for a time, then have to get rid of it. We are going after an ordinance when we don't need to be."
PRESS-ENTERPRISE (Riverside, California) 06 February 03 Banning pets at events
Riverside is banning animals at public events, such as the Stater Bros. Orange Blossom Festival.
Some people have brought dogs, birds and even snakes to crowded public events. As crowds have grown, so has safety concern. Short of dog shows and rodeos, animals and crowds of people normally don't mix well.
Festival officials say they've heard of as many as 40 dogs, snakes and large lizards at events. There have been dog fights and worse. An elderly woman fainted after coming face to face with a large snake at the city-sponsored Downtown Wednesday Night.
This ordinance could prevent that, or even worse, from happening.
Of course guide dogs and other service animals are exempt, as well as animals authorized by event personnel. The city will post the animal ban at events to give proper and necessary notice.
The ban will be largely enforced by animal control personnel, who would ticket violators. Violations could be either infractions, similar to a speeding ticket, or a more serious misdemeanor, punishable by fines or jail.
The ordinance must have teeth to be effective but it would be hard to justify jail time in any but the most aggravated violations. On balance, though, this is a reasonable approach to help ensure safety at crowded public events. Responsible pet owners should understand that.