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If you want certain nonvenomous, noninjurios snakes for pets in Minot, you’re in luck. If you want to have hens in your backyard, not so much. Oh, and pit bull type dogs are still illegal in Minot.
After months of ad hoc meetings and public open houses discussing all the above subjects, the Minot City Council at a special Jan. 17 meeting made decisions on several matters involving pets in the city.
The City’s breed-specific ban on pit bulls drew a lot of attention, from supporters and those wanting the ban lifted in favor of a dangerous animal ordinance. An ad hoc committee had recommended lifting the ban, but after lengthy discussion, the council voted 6-1 to keep the ban in place. Alderman Shannon Straight, who chaired the ad hoc committee, cast the only vote to repeal the ban. Aldermen Shaun Sipma, Lisa Olson, Josh Wolsky, Mark Jantzer, Stephen Podrygula, and Mayor Chuck Barney voted to keep the ban in place.
Additionally, the council unanimously approved drafting a new dangerous dog ordinance modeled after an ordinance in Fargo.
The Council voted 4-3 to allow up to four snakes per household. Boa constrictors, although not considered venomous or injurious, remain on the banned list. The city ordinance also does not allow snake breeding. North Dakota state law already bans venomous snakes. Voting to permit certain snakes as pets were Straight, Podrygula, Olson and Wolsky. Jantzer, Sipma, and Barney voted against the ordinance change. In addition to venomous snakes, the list of banned snakes would be the same as defined by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The vote to allow up to four hens within city limits failed on a 2-5 vote. Voting in favor of allowing backyard hens were Wolsky and Straight. Sipma, Olson, Barney, Podrygula, and Jantzer voted against the proposal.
Supporters argued that backyard hens don’t pose health threats, don’t make a lot of noise, and would be beneficial to those owning them because they would provide fresh eggs and be a learning experience for children.
Opponents said having chickens in town raised concerns about salmonella, odors, decreased property values, and attracting more predators.