New laws regulates exotic pets in county
Leavenworth County, long known for its relaxed laws on the keeping of exotic pets, has changed to a no-nonsense approach.
In a resolution passed Oct. 2 by county commissioners, exotic pets presently in the county can be grandfathered in if the animals and their owners meet criteria set by the commissioners.
For instance, owners now must obtain a personal possession permit, paying $20 for the first permit and $5 for each additional permit.
Owners must be at least 18 years of age, can not have been convicted of cruelty to animals and cannot have been convicted of a felony or convicted for possession, sale or use of illegal narcotics within the past 10 years.
The facility and conditions where the animals are kept must be in compliance with county regulations, and provide adequate fencing that protects the public as well as the animals.
The applicant must have proof of liability insurance of at least $100,000 for each occurrence in case an exotic animal harmed someone.
The applicant must show veterinary care has been and will continue to be provided as needed.
Moreover, owners must have plans for quick and safe recapture if the animal escapes, and if they are unable to be captured, a plan for the destruction of the animal.
These exotic animals will be required to have a veterinarian-installed tattoo or an under-the-skin microchip for identification.
No permits will be issued for any exotic animal that has attacked or injured people. Further, if an animal does bite someone, it will be turned over to the county for euthanization.
Richard Provance, Tonganoxie, whose 4-year-old lion and bear bit adults this summer, said he plans, rather than to apply for licenses, to give his exotic pets away.
"I fell under the grandfather clause," Provance said. "But I decided to go ahead and get rid of them."