Our proposed amendments to the Sioux Falls ordinance are as follows in red: 


  • 90.001 DEFINITIONS.

   For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:

   ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER. A person designated by the chief of police to work with law enforcement officials in the enforcement of this chapter.

   ANIMAL SHELTER. A building and facilities therein approved by the chief of police and the health authority for the impounding of animals.

   ANTI-ESCAPE. Any housing, fencing, or device that a guard dog cannot go over, under, through, or around.

   APIARY. Any place where one or more colonies of honeybees are kept.

   APPARENT ATTITUDE OF ATTACK. Threatening and overtly aggressive actions of an animal that places a reasonable person in imminent fear of bodily injury, including, but not limited to, snarling, growling, elevated or exaggerated noise, combined with an attack-ready body position when the animal is approached.


      (1)   An animal when off or away from the premises and not under the control of the owner, possessor, keeper, agent, servant, or a member of his or her immediate family by a leash.

      (2)   An animal when on the premises of the owner, possessor, keeper, agent, or servant if not attended by a competent person unless the animal is chained, restrained, enclosed, or confined in a manner preventing it from leaving the premises.

   BEEKEEPER. A person who owns or has charge of one or more colonies of honeybees.

   CHIEF OF POLICE. The chief officer of the city police department or his or her designee.

   COMMUNITY CAT.  A cat that is abandoned, stray, lost, or feral.

   COMMUNITY CAT CAREGIVER.  A person who, in accordance with Trap-Neuter-Return, provides care, such as food, shelter, or medical care to a community cat. A community cat caregiver shall not be considered the attendant, caretaker, controller, custodian, harborer, keeper, owner, or possessor of a community cat.

   COLONY. The honeybees in any hive, including queens, workers, and drones.


      (1)   A portion of land or building zoned for or utilized for commercial or business uses, within the city, including temporary sites.

      (2)   Any vehicle utilized for commercial or business purposes within the city.

   DOMESTIC ANIMAL. Any animal that through long association with man has been bred to a degree that has resulted in genetic changes affecting the temperament, color, conformation, or other attributes of the species to an extent that makes it unique and different from wild individuals of its kind.

   EARTIPPING.  The removal of the ¼ inch tip of a community cat’s ear, performed while the cat is under anesthesia, to identify the community cat as being sterilized and lawfully vaccinated for rabies.

   EXOTIC ANIMAL. Any animal not occurring naturally in the United States either currently or historically. Alleged domestication of any exotic animal shall not affect its status under this definition.

   FLYWAY BARRIER. A solid fence, wall, dense vegetation, or combination thereof that is at least six feet in height that requires the bees to fly over, rather than through the barrier.

   FOWL. Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pheasants, quail, partridge, guineas, or other like domestic birds.

   GUARD DOG. Any dog that is utilized to protect commercial property, or is housed unattended on commercial property at any time other than normal business hours, except that the definition shall not apply to pet stores, boarding kennels, veterinary offices, and animal shelters.

   HANDLER. A person who is responsible for and capable of controlling the operations of a guard dog.

   HEALTH AUTHORITY. The health officer of the city or his or her authorized representative.

   HIVE. Any frame hive, box hive, box, barrel, log gum, skep, or any other container that may be used as a domicile for honeybees.

   HOBBY BEEKEEPER. A person who engages in hobby beekeeping.

   HONEYBEES. Any insect stage of the common honeybee, Apis mellifera L. This definition excludes African subspecies and Africanized hybrids.

   HOUSING. Any location where the guard dog is kept when not being utilized for protection purposes.

   LEASH. A cord, thong, or chain, not to exceed six feet in length, by which an animal is controlled by the person accompanying it.

   LIVESTOCK. Any species of animal other than fowl commonly used for food, fiber, or draft purposes.

   NONDOMESTIC ANIMAL. Any animal that is not domestic.

   OWNER. Any person harboring or keeping an animal and who is the head of the household of the residence or any adult residing thereat if any head of household is not present, or the person, owner, or manager in charge of the establishment or premises at which an animal remains or returns to.

   PET. Any domestic animal kept in or near a household for the primary purpose of companionship for member(s) of the household and/or companionship for other such animals. This includes dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, ferrets, birds other than fowl, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and species that a reasonable person would consider a pet. Fowl, rabbits, and livestock are not pets. The keeping of fowl, rabbits, or livestock including, but not limited to, swine, cattle, cows, sheep, horses, mules, or goats shall not be governed by this section of the code but shall be governed by other applicable sections of this code.

   SLAUGHTER. The act of killing fowl, rabbits, livestock, or any other animal for the purpose of food.

   TRAP-NEUTER-RETURN. The process of humanely trapping, sterilizing, vaccinating for rabies, eartipping, and returning community cats to their original location.

   UNNATURAL FOOD SOURCE. Any amount of grain, fruit, vegetables, nuts, hay, salt, mineral, food blocks, or other similar edible material which has the effect of attracting deer for the purpose of eating the material. UNNATURAL FOOD SOURCE does not include growing plants or the natural remainders of the growing plants.



   (a)   Except on property designated by the city as an animal off-leash area, it shall be unlawful for any person to have any animal which is owned, kept, harbored, or allowed to be habitually in or upon the premises occupied by him or her or under his or her control to be at large and to go in or upon the private premises of others or upon any public property.

   (b)   Any person convicted of subsection (a) more than two times in a 12-month period shall be considered a reckless owner. Any fine for a reckless owner shall, at a minimum, be double the usual fine for animal running at large. For purposes of this section, each prior conviction must occur on a separate date than the present charge and any other prior conviction.

   (c)   Community cats shall not be impounded for being at large.



   (a)   No person shall harbor or keep any stray animals. Animals known to be strays shall be immediately reported to the animal control officer.

   (b)   No person shall put out any food for the purpose of feeding or attracting any stray, abandoned, or unkept animal. The placing of food to capture stray, abandoned, or unkept animals by animal control officers or for the purpose of turning the animal over to animal control is not prohibited.

   (c)    This section shall not apply to community cat caregivers or community cats.  



   (a)   No person being the owner or occupant of any parcel of real property within the corporate limits of the city shall place thereon, or allow to remain thereon, any unnatural food source, nor shall any person place such unnatural food source upon the real property of another or upon any public property. It shall be an affirmative defense to any prosecution hereunder that the unnatural food source was placed not less than five feet above the ground and was not accessible to deer, or that the unnatural food source was placed in good faith for the purpose of feeding domestic livestock or pets by or at the request of a person owning or having responsibility for the domestic livestock or pets, or that the unnatural food source was placed in good faith for a purpose other than attracting deer and that the attraction of deer is only an incidental result.

   (b)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any act by a governmental agency or to any employee or authorized agent thereof in the course of his or her employment or agency. Specifically, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the baiting of deer by authorized government agents in furtherance of an approved plan to reduce deer population or in furtherance of an approved plan to entice deer out of the urban environment into a less urban and more natural environment.

  (c)     This section shall not apply to community cat caregivers.


NEW SECTION: Community Cat Initiative

  1. Sioux Falls recognizes the need for innovation in addressing the issues presented by community cats. To that end, it recognizes that Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective and humane method to manage, and over time, reduce the population of community cats. Trap-Neuter-Return shall be permitted, and community cat caregivers, community cat organizations, city staff, animal shelters, and animal control officers, are allowed to carry out Trap-Neuter-Return.
  1. An eartipped cat received by local shelters or animal control will be returned to the location where trapped unless veterinary care is required. A trapped eartipped cat will be released on site unless veterinary care is required.
  1. Community cat caregivers are empowered to reclaim impounded community cats without proof of ownership.