- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - Deadwood officials are moving to ban dangerous animals, a month after state regulators ruled that a Minnesota woman could house wolf pups at a wildlife education center in the town.

The city commission voted 4-1 this week to advance the proposed ordinance that would prohibit people in Deadwood from keeping or selling a variety of animals, including “dangerous wild animals” such as wolves and venomous snakes. It would also prohibit breeding animals that the commission considers dangerous.

Commissioner David Ruth said officials recently revisited the city’s rules governing dangerous animals and decided that they needed to be updated to protect the public.

“We just want to protect our community and make sure this doesn’t become a common place that somebody wants to own something that could put our community at risk or cause an epidemic of some sort,” he said.

In May, the South Dakota Animal Industry Board voted to grant a permit allowing Terri Petter to house wolf pups and fox kits in Deadwood. She said the education center is open and that the animals are there and it’s “going good.”

Petter, and anyone else who already owns dangerous animals, would be grandfathered in under the proposal, but she said Tuesday she feels targeted and that most of the ordinance is already covered by state regulators.

“They’re trying to regulate me out of business, which they’re not going to do,” she said. “It’s personal. It’s not about the animals. It’s not about the animal welfare. Anybody can come through and see how well my animals are taken care of.”

Ruth said the new measure isn’t in response to Petter but that her proposal did cause officials to re-examine what ordinances were in place.

The proposal includes several exceptions, including accredited zoos and veterinary hospitals.

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