Castle Rock could open door for pigs, goats and ducks

Town council gives early approval to new animal code rules

Posted 6/24/19

The Castle Rock Town Council has given initial approval to lift a ban on ducks, miniature goats and miniature pigs in town. An ordinance amending the animal code, which currently prohibits the …

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Castle Rock could open door for pigs, goats and ducks

Town council gives early approval to new animal code rules

Posted

The Castle Rock Town Council has given initial approval to lift a ban on ducks, miniature goats and miniature pigs in town.

An ordinance amending the animal code, which currently prohibits the animals, was approved on first reading at the council's June 18 meeting. Councilmember Caryn Johnson voted against the motion in a 5-1 vote. It must be approved on a second reading before officially becoming law.

When council takes up the issue again, it might establish a timeline for implementing the new animal rules should they be approved.

Deputy Town Attorney Heidi Hugdahl said staff will need time to prepare for handling licensing and registration of the animals and to arrange a place for housing any of the animals confiscated by animal control. She also said the town had one less animal control officer than usual at the time of the vote.

Mayor Pro Tem Jason Bower spoke on behalf of Councilmember James Townsend, who was absent on June 18 but has previously expressed concerns around allowing the animals. Those included added training and resources needed to regulate them. Townsend opposes lifting the ban, Bower said.

Councilmember Jess Loban clarified that a homeowners association could still prohibit the animals and their rules would supersede the town's animal code.

Bower noted if the town passes the new animal code rules and later decides it was not the right decision for Castle Rock, they could vote to reinstate a ban on ducks, goats and pigs. Anyone already owning the animals would most likely be grandfathered in.

Bower voted in favor of allowing the animals but also said he felt the town had mostly heard from residents who were in strong support of the proposal. He also said he doubts a large number of residents are interested in the issue at all.

“I personally don't feel like we've heard from enough of the community on it,” he said.

The town solicited input from the community in 2017 and 2018 that was mostly in favor of allowing the animals, but input received in 2019 has been largely against lifting the bans, although not entirely.

Skeptics questioned if people would truly comply with requirements to chip or license the animals. Some said they live in a community with small lot sizes and would not want the noise or smell nearby.

Proponents said it could help keep ties to the town's Western heritage. Castle Rock resident Julie Barrett was the sole resident to speak at the June 18 meeting and only addressed goats but was in favor of the town allowing them.

Here's a snapshot of some rules that would apply to ducks, goats and pigs if the ban is lifted.

Ducks

• May only be kept in the rear yard of a single-family detached home. They must be provided an enclosed coop that is cleaned regularly.

• Only female ducks are permitted.

• Only eight to 12 ducks are permitted, depending on lot size.

Miniature goats

• Goats must be licensed and microchipped.

• A maximum of two mini goats is allowed per single-family detached lot.

• Goats must be registered with a mini goat registry or certified by a veterinarian.

• They may not weigh more than 100 pounds or exceed 24 inches in height measuring from their shoulder to the ground.

• Only female goats are allowed, and no intact male goats older than six months.

• Owners are liable for any damage caused by the goats on public or private property.

Miniature pigs

• Pigs must be licensed with the town and microchipped.

• One pig is permitted per single-family detached lot.

• All mini pigs must be registered with a pot-bellied pig registry or certified by a veterinarian.

• The pig's weight cannot exceed 100 pounds. Their height cannot exceed 22 inches, measuring from shoulder to the ground.

• Female pigs must be spayed and male pigs neutered.

• Mini pigs must be leashed when off the owner's property.

• Owners are liable for any damage caused by the pigs on public or private property.

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