- Chapter 55 -
Animal Protection & Control

55.01 Definitions
55.02 Animal Neglect
55.03 Livestock Neglect
55.04 Abandonment of Cats and Dogs
55.05 Livestock
55.06 At-Large Prohibited
55.07 Impoundment of At-large Animals
55.08 Disposition of Animals
55.09 Impounding Costs
55.10 Place of Impoundment
55.11 Damage or Interference
55.12 Annoyance or Disturbance
55.13 Vicious Dogs
55.14 Rabies Vaccination
55.15 Owner’s Duty
55.16 Confinement
55.17 Summons Issued
55.18 Pet Awards Prohibited
55.19 Duty to Remove and Dispose of Aninimal Waste

55.01    DEFINITIONS.  The following terms are defined for use in this chapter.

  1. “Animal” means a nonhuman vertebrate.
  2. “At large” means off the premises of the owner and not under the control of a competent person, restrained within a motor vehicle, or housed in a veterinary hospital or kennel.
  3. “Livestock” means an animal belonging to the bovine, caprine, equine, ovine or porcine species; farm deer, as defined in Section 170.1 of the Code of Iowa; ostriches, rheas, emus, or poultry. (Ord. No. 117 - Nov-95 Supp. & Ord. No. 193 – Oct-03 Supp.)
  1. “Owner” means any person owning, keeping, sheltering or harboring an animal.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717.1 and 717B.1)

  1. “Vicious dog” means:
  2. Any dog which has attacked a human being or domestic animal one or more times, without provocation;
  3. Any dog with a history, tendency or disposition to attack, to cause injury to or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals;
  4. Any dog that snaps, bites or manifests a disposition to snap or bite;
  5. Any dog that has been trained for dog fighting, animal fighting or animal baiting or is owned or kept for such purposes;
  6. Any dog trained to attack human beings, upon command or spontaneously in response to human activities except dogs owned by and under the control of the Police Department, a law enforcement agency of the State or United States or a branch of the armed forces of the United States;
  7. Any Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog;
  8. Any American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog;
  9. Any American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog; or
  10. Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier (Ord. 204 – Nov. 04 Supp.)
  1. “Excrement” means feces and/or manure, and may be referred to as “animal waste.”   (Ord. 270 – Dec. 09 Supp.)

55.02    ANIMAL NEGLECT.  It is unlawful for a person who impounds or confines, in any place, an animal, excluding livestock, to fail to supply the animal during confinement with a sufficient quantity of food or water, or to fail to provide a confined dog or cat with adequate shelter, or to torture, deprive of necessary sustenance, mutilate, beat, or kill such animal by any means which causes unjustified pain, distress or suffering.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717B.3)

55.03    LIVESTOCK NEGLECT.  It is unlawful for a person who impounds or confines livestock in any place to fail to provide the livestock with care consistent with customary animal husbandry practices or to deprive the livestock of necessary sustenance or to injure or destroy livestock by any means which causes pain or suffering in a manner inconsistent with customary animal husbandry practices.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717.2)

55.04    ABANDONMENT OF CATS AND DOGS.  A person who has ownership or custody of a cat or dog shall not abandon the cat or dog, except the person may deliver the cat or dog to another person who will accept ownership and custody or the person may deliver the cat or dog to an animal shelter or pound.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717B.8)

55.05    LIVESTOCK.  It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the City except by written consent of the Council or except in compliance with the City’s zoning regulations.

55.06    AT-LARGE PROHIBITED.  It is unlawful for any owner to allow dogs, cats, cattle, horses, swine, sheep or other similar animals or fowl to run at-large within the corporate limits of the City. (Ord. 123 - Feb. 97 Supp.)

55.07    IMPOUNDMENT OF AT-LARGE ANIMALS.  Animals found at-large in violation of this chapter may be seized and impounded by any employee or duly authorized agent of the City, and, at the discretion of the Police Chief, the owner may be served a summons to appear before a proper court to answer charges made thereunder.

55.08    DISPOSITION OF ANIMALS.  When an animal has been apprehended and impounded, written notice shall be provided to the owner within two (2) days after impoundment, if the owner’s name and current address can reasonably be determined by accessing a tag or other device that is on or part of the animal.  Impounded animals may be recovered by the owner upon payment of impounding costs, and if an unvaccinated dog, by having it immediately vaccinated.  If the owner fails to redeem the animal within seven (7) days from the date that the notice is mailed, or if the owner cannot be located within seven days, the animal shall be disposed of in accordance with law or destroyed by euthanasia. (Ord. 188 – Oct-03 Supp.)

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.37, 351.41)

55.09    IMPOUNDING COSTS.  Impounding costs shall be fifteen dollars ($15.00) for the first impoundment of an animal; twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the second impoundment of an animal; and forty dollars ($40.00) for each subsequent impoundment of the same animal, all in addition to the costs of boarding, food and care.

55.10    PLACE OF IMPOUNDMENT.  The Council may enter into an agreement with any veterinary clinic or hospital or kennel for the placement of animals impounded pursuant to this chapter. (Section 55.07 through 55.11 added by Ord. 1056 – Aug-95 Supp.)

55.11    DAMAGE OR INTERFERENCE.  It is unlawful for the owner of an animal to allow or permit such animal to pass upon the premises of another thereby causing damage to, or interference with, the premises.

55.12    ANNOYANCE OR DISTURBANCE.  It is unlawful for the owner of a dog to allow or permit such dog to cause serious annoyance or disturbance to any person or persons by frequent and habitual howling, yelping, barking, or otherwise; or, by running after or chasing persons, bicycles, automobiles or other vehicles.

55.13    VICIOUS DOGS. 

  1. (a) All vicious dogs shall be securely confined within an occupied house or residence or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed on property owned or leased by the dog’s owner.  Such pen, kennel, or structure must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides or, in lieu of a top, walls at least six feet in height and at least six inches taller than any internal structure.  (b) All pens or other structures designed, constructed or used to confine vicious dogs must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals are within the structure.  Such structure must have a secure bottom, floor or foundation attached to the sides of the pen or the sides of the pen must be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet so as to prevent digging under the walls by the confined dog.  (c) All structures erected to house vicious dogs must comply with all zoning and building regulations of the City.  All such structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.  No vicious dog may be kept on a porch, patio or in any porch of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition.
  2. No person shall permit a vicious dog to go outside its kennel or pen unless such dog is securely leashed with a leash no longer than six (6) feet in length, and further provided that when leashed such dog must be on property owned or leased by its owner.  No person shall permit a vicious dog to be kept on a chain, rope, or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless both dog and leash are under the actual physical control of a person eighteen years of age or older.  Such dogs may not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, buildings, or any other object or structure.
  3. At Large. A vicious dog which is found, more than twice in any calendar year, not to be confined as herein required, shall be required to be permanently removed from the City or destroyed.  An animal which is returned to the City after removal shall be humanely destroyed. (Ord. 204 – Nov. 04 Supp.)

55.14    RABIES VACCINATION.  Every owner of a dog shall obtain a rabies vaccination for such animal.  It is unlawful for any person to own or have a dog in said person’s possession, six months of age or over, which has not been vaccinated against rabies.  Dogs kept in kennels and not allowed to run at large are not subject to these vaccination requirements.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.33)

55.15    OWNER’S DUTY.  It is the duty of the owner of any dog, cat or other animal which has bitten or attacked a person or any person having knowledge of such bite or attack to report this act to a local health or law enforcement official.  It is the duty of physicians and veterinarians to report to the local board of health or the Police Chief the existence of any animal known or suspected to be suffering from rabies.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.38 & 351.41)

55.16    CONFINEMENT.  If the Police Chief or a local board of health receives information that an animal has bitten a person or that a dog or animal is suspected of having rabies, the Police Chief or board shall order the owner to confine such animal in the manner it directs.  If the owner fails to confine such animal in the manner directed, the animal shall be apprehended and impounded by the Police Chief or such board, and after ten (10) days the Police Chief or the board may humanely destroy the animal.  If such animal is returned to its owner, the owner shall pay the cost of impoundment.  This section does not apply if a police service dog or a horse used by a law enforcement agency and acting in the performance of its duties has bitten a person. (Ord. 189 – Oct-03 Supp.)

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.39)

55.17    SUMMONS ISSUED.  The owner of any dog, cat or other animal shall be issued a summons to appear before the proper court to answer charges of permitting such dog, cat or other animal to be at-large in violation of this chapter. (Ord. 123 - Feb. 97 Supp.)


(Code of Iowa, Ch. 717.E)

  1. Definitions.As used in this section, the following terms are defined:
  2. “Advertise” means to present a commercial message in any medium including but not limited to print, radio, television, sign, display, label, tag or articulation.
  3. “Business” means any enterprise relating to any of the following:

(1)       The sale or offer for sale of goods or services.

(2)       A recruitment for employment or membership in an organization.

(3)       A solicitation to make an investment.

(4)       An amusement or entertainment activity.

  1. “Fair” means any of the following:

(1)       The annual fair and exposition held by the Iowa State  Fair Board pursuant to Chapter 173 of the Code of Iowa or any fair event conducted by a fair under the provisions of Chapter 174 of the Code of Iowa.

(2)       An exhibition of agricultural or manufactured products.

(3)       An event for operation of amusement rides or devices or concession booths.

  1. “Game” means a “game of chance” or “game of skill” as defined in Section 99B.1 of the Code of Iowa.
  2. “Pet” means a living dog, cat or an animal normally maintained in a small tank or cage in or near a residence, including but not limited to a rabbit, gerbil, hamster, mouse, parrot, canary, mynah, finch, tropical fish, goldfish, snake, turtle, gecko or iguana.
  3. Prohibition.It is unlawful for any person to award a pet or advertise that a pet may be awarded as any of the following:
  4. A prize for participating in a game.
  5. A prize for participating in a fair. (Ord. 239 – Jan. 07 Supp.)
  6. An inducement or condition for visiting a place of business or attending an event sponsored by a business.
  7. An inducement or condition for executing a contract which includes provisions unrelated to the ownership, care or disposition of the pet.
  8. Exceptions.This section does not apply to any of the following:
  9. A pet shop licensed pursuant to Section 162.5 of the Code of Iowa if the award of a pet is provided in connection with the sale of a pet on the premises of the pet shop.
  10. Youth programs associated with 4-H Clubs; Future Farmers of America; the Izaak Walton League of America; or organizations associated with outdoor recreation, hunting or fishing, including but not limited to the Iowa Sportsmen’s Federation. (Ord. 217 – Nov. 04 Supp.)

55.19    DUTY TO REMOVE AND DISPOSE OF ANIMAL WASTE.  On any public property (including the right-of-way, or the parking or terrace), or on any private property neither owned nor leased by the subject person, it shall be the duty of each person who owns, possesses, or controls an animal to immediately remove and dispose of any excrement left by the animal or animals on any public property, or any private property neither owned nor leased by such person.  Any person who owns, possesses, or controls an animal and abandons such animal’s excrement contrary to the provisions of this section is in violation of this Code of Ordinances.  The following persons are exempted from the requirements of this section:

  1. A handicapped person with an animal who is physically unable to comply, and/or whose trained animal is serving as a guide.
  2. A peace officer when using a horse or dog for police purposes. (Ord. 270 – Dec. 09 Supp.)