Ishpeming move to ban dangerous pets a good idea

It’s never been entirely clear to us why people chose to keep dangerous or exotic animals as pets. By dangerous we mean wild critters of whatever sort that could kill or very seriously injure the average human being without breaking much of a sweat.

Venomous snakes come immediately to mind as the type of pet that would generally fall into this category. So do some of the big, wild cats like tigers.

The Ishpeming City Council must have had some of the same kind of thoughts because the panel is working its way toward voting on an ordinance that would ban possession of these kinds of dangerous pets.

In fact, it would be a vote on a proposed amendment to the existing city pet ordinance, making it “unlawful for anyone within the city to own or harbor exotic animals.”

The language, which makes owning exotic animals a municipal civil infraction subject to a civil fine, applies specifically to monkeys, alligators, crocodiles, raccoons, skunks, foxes, bears, sea mammals and venomous snakes, as well as any member of the feline or canine species other than a domestic cat or dog, the proposed amendment states.

“We are only going to find out about it if (someone tells us) or if we have a lawful reason to go in there,” Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown said for a Mining Journal story on the issue. “So, it’s pretty straightforward. I don’t think anybody will have any big problems with it. For the general public welfare, it seems reasonable to not allow that type of pet in a city like Ishpeming.”

We couldn’t agree more. Neighborhoods that include children and dangerous animals are not good mixes. We hope the Ishpeming City Council passes the amendment posthaste and moves on to other business.