City Ordinance: Animal Protection and Control


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

  1. "Advertise" means to present a commercial message in any medium including but not limited to print, radio, television, sign, display, label, tag or articulation.
  2. "Animal" means a nonhuman vertebrate.
    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 717B.1)
  3. "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.
  4. "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.
  5. "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.
  6. "Game" means a "game of chance" or "game of skill" as defined in Section 99B.1 of the Code of Iowa.
  7. "Livestock" means an animal belonging to the bovine, caprine, equine, ovine or porcine species, ostriches, rheas and emus; farm deer as defined in Section 170.1 of the Code of Iowa; or poultry.
    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 717.1)
  8. "Owner" means any person owning, keeping, sheltering or harboring an animal.
  9. "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.

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 that 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 that 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 an animal to run at large within the corporate limits of the City.

55.07 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.

55.08 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 by frequent and habitual howling, yelping, barking, or otherwise, or by running after or chasing persons, bicycles, automobiles or other vehicles.

55.09 VICIOUS DOGS. It is unlawful for any person to harbor or keep a vicious dog within the City. A dog is deemed to be vicious when it has attacked or bitten any person without provocation, or when propensity to attack or bite persons exists and is known or ought reasonably to be known to the owner.

55.10 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 State or federally licensed kennels and not allowed to run at large are not subject to these vaccination requirements.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.33)

55.11 OWNER’S DUTY. It is the duty of the owner of any dog, cat, or other animal that 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 the existence of any animal known or suspected to be suffering from rabies.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.38)

55.12 CONFINEMENT. If 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 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 such board, and after 10 days 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.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.39)

55.13 AT LARGE: IMPOUNDMENT. Animals found at large in violation of this chapter shall be seized and impounded, or at the discretion of the peace officer, the owner may be served a summons to appear before a proper court to answer charges made thereunder.

55.14 DISPOSITION OF ANIMALS. When an animal has been apprehended and impounded, written notice shall be provided to the owner within two 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 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.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.37, 351.41)

55.15 NUMBER OF ANIMALS RESTRICTED. No person or persons combined shall own, possess or keep more than three mature animals, including dogs, in any one household within the City. This section shall not apply to a person who operates a commercial kennel as a bona fide business with the intent to make a profit. Persons who own, possess, or keep more than three mature animals per household on the effective date of this Code of Ordinances shall be permitted to continue to own, possess or keep those animals only, but shall not be permitted to replace an animal which dies, is sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of until the total number of animals per household in decreased to three.

55.16 ANIMALS ON LEASH. No privately owned animal shall be allowed to run at large in any City park, and every such animal shall be deemed as running at large unless the owner carries such animal or leads it by a leash or chain not exceeding six feet in length or keeps it confined in or attached to a vehicle, except for the training of dogs, and only then by permission from the City.


  1. No owner or custodian of any animal shall cause or allow such animal to soil, defile or defecate on any property, except the premises of the owner, unless such owner immediately removes and disposes of all deposits by such animals.
  2. No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of an animal within the City shall permit any waste matter from the animal to collect and remain on the property of the owner so as to cause or create an unhealthy, unsanitary, dangerous or offensive condition, or so as to create an odor.
  3. No person, owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any animal shall cause unsanitary, dangerous or offensive conditions by virtue of the size or number of animals maintained at a single location or due to the inadequacy of the facilities.

(Code of Iowa, Ch. 717E)

  1. Prohibition. It is unlawful for any person to award a pet or advertise that a pet may be awarded as any of the following:
    1. A prize for participating in a game.
    2. A prize for participating in a fair.
    3. An inducement or condition for visiting a place of business or attending an event sponsored by a business.
    4. An inducement or condition for executing a contract that includes provisions unrelated to the ownership, care or disposition of the pet.
  2. Exceptions. This section does not apply to any of the following:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.

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