Pocatello City Council Amends “Animal Services” Ordinance

Published online: Oct 05, 2020 Articles
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POCATELLO -- The Pocatello City Council has amended the “Animal Services” section of City Code to add a section that prohibits citizens from feeding or attracting wildlife except for certain birds and squirrels in city limits.

Under the ordinance, “it is unlawful for any person to intentionally and knowingly feed or attract wildlife (wild or habituated) except those birds and squirrels as allowed in 6.04.260.C by placing, depositing, distributing, storing, or scattering food, edible material, garbage, or other attractant, with the intent to lure, attract, entice, or feed wildlife.”

“We all love that wilderness areas and opportunities to see wildlife are right out our backdoors,” said Mayor Brian Blad. “However, interactions between people and wildlife are causing changes in animal migration patterns and in their health, as well as causing dangerous situations between animals and vehicles. We need to act responsibly and keep wildlife out of our neighborhoods.”

Exceptions are provided for domestic animals including “dogs, cats, chickens, horses and livestock or a person feeding their own domestic waterfowl, pheasants, chukars, turkeys, and other animals as allowed by the Idaho Department of Agriculture rules and with the appropriate permits, if necessary.” Additionally, an exception is provided for “seeds, nectar, and other material in feeders elevated at least five (5) feet above the ground for birds (other than Wild Turkey and Waterfowl) or tree squirrels placed specifically to attract wild birds (other than Wild Turkey and Waterfowl) or tree squirrels.”

Prior to adopting the ordinance, the City Council sought the input of the Urban Wildlife Taskforce and Idaho Department of Fish & Game. In meetings, they discussed concerns and explored solutions, including the ordinance, to reduce the number of wildlife or wildlife conflicts within City limits.

City of Pocatello Animal Control Officers, Pocatello Police Officers, or any other State of Idaho certified Peace Officer may investigate and issue a warning or citation for a violation of the ordinance.

Any violation of the ordinance is an infraction and punishable by a fine of $100.

To read the ordinance, visit bit.ly/30pelvN.

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