Minot, North Dakota Animal Ordinance To Meet On Amending Snake Ban

October 17, 2017

The city of Minot, North Dakota will meet Wednesday, October 18 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss changing a law that bans the ownership of constricting snakes in the city. Currently the city prohibits the keeping of venomous snakes and constricting snakes, and that includes pythons, boas, and colubrids, as pets. Permits are required to keep venomous reptiles for educational purposes only. Large injurious reptiles also require a permit to keep, but the city apparently classified the smaller constricting snakes, such as ball pythons and corn snakes, with the larger constricting snakes, and that is what the animal ordinance committee hopes to change.

scarlet kingsnake

Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock

The city ordinance currently bans all constricting snakes, including kingsnakes, corn snakes and ball pythons.

"What I’m advocating are not venomous, they're not large constrictors, they're smaller ball pythons, Colubridaes which would be corn snakes, milk snakes would be no danger to anybody," Marshal Platz, a member of the city’s animal ordinance committee told West Dakota Fox News.

The director of the Souris Valley Animal Shelter, Randy McDonald, said if the committee lifted the ban, the shelter wouldn’t have the resources or staff to house any escaped reptiles.

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"Surrendering pets typically they would go to animal shelters or something of that nature, there's nothing in town that would support snake rescue right now," McDonald told West Dakota Fox News. But no snake would be left behind. "Our goal as the animal shelter is to provide happy healthy lives for animals. Not just the fuzzy ones like the cats, dogs or the rabbits. Every animal deserves a fair shake at life," he said.

If the law is amended, Platz who is also a member of the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK), said he would feel responsible for creating a snake shelter.

"It would be my responsibility to set up a place to where anything that was captured or taken from somebody's home, that it has a place to go. And that's one of the things I want to look into doing is making sure there is a facility specifically for reptiles and snakes," said Platz.

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