Councilwoman Harris Announces Ordinance For Reptile Ownership

The ordinance introduces safety procedures for owners & a fine for violations

Ashley Funyak
November 25, 2019 - 11:16 pm

Alicia Kern-Johnston/ iStock / Getty Images Plus



PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Darlene Harris announced an ordinance on Monday that would increase oversight and regulations for crocodilian and venomous snake ownership in the city.

Harris’ ordinance would require pet owners to register their reptiles with the city and prohibits anyone under the age of eighteen from owning them.  

Pet owners would also have to follow multiple safety precautions. The ordinance states that enclosures for the reptiles must be “escape proof, bite proof, and have an operable lock or secure latch.” 

Clear signage announcing the reptile’s presence would be required on the main entry into any building and inside the room a reptile is kept in.  

Additionally, pet owners would be required to have a protocol for bites and a recovery plan in the event a reptile escapes.

Violations result in a $300.00 fine per reptile on the first offense and could increase to $1,000 per reptile for repeated offenses.

The proposed ordinance comes after multiple reptiles were found in the city over the summer.  A family fishing along the Monongahela River spotted an alligator in May.  Two alligators were found in June, one in Beechview and the other in Carrick. In July, an alligator was found outside the Shaler Giant Eagle along Route 8.

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