Dangerous Exotic Pets Might Be Tougher to Own
By Beth Malicki Anchor/Reporter
Exotic pets range from monkeys to rattlesnakes. Some of them are harmless, but others can be deadly.
A group in eastern Iowa is lobbying legislators to protect the animals and people who might not know they're living next door.
An animal sanctuary in Solon has quite a collection of exotic pets that owners didn’t want anymore. Like Lucifer, a 16 foot long, 100 pound python.
"A place that was dealing drugs actually cops went in and busted it and they had this as their guard dog," said Torben Platt who runs the sanctuary.
Platt took it in when no one else would. It’s just one of dozens of pets that outgrew their owners.
Platt and his supporters are asking lawmakers to make it harder to own dangerous exotic animals.
“You can purchase a black bear or a tiger in Iowa if you got the money," said Platt.
The shelter is running out of room for rattlesnakes and reptiles, and sees the problem spreading.
"There are many diseases like that that can cause great harm to people if they don't now how to handle the animals sooner than later," said sanctuary board member Chris Schoon.
The law would require permits to keep certain exotic pets- right now restrictions on such pets are only at the local level.
The animals that don't end up at the shelter in Solon are sometimes set free- especially reptiles like alligators.
The bill requiring licensing to own an exotic dangerous animal has already passed the senate, and the house is expected to pass it.
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