By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Andrew Johnson rescued his puppy’s mother from a puppy mill when she was pregnant. The Minneapolis City Council member says he’s far from alone in his canine affections, so he helped pass an ordinance written for the city’s flighty and slimy citizens.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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“Probably one of the things we get the most calls about in my office is animal related issues,” said Johnson. “This was an opportunity for us to look at a hodgepodge of ordinances that had been in place for decades and decades, but were pretty lacking.”

Chicken owners are among those affected, as “fowl” enthusiasts like Mike Broton no longer have to get their neighbor’s permission to own the birds.

“It’s not that hard to have chickens. It’s surprisingly easy to care for chickens, and I think it’s not a bad thing if more people do it,” said Broton. “Before this, it was so much a burden to get a permit for a chicken that a lot of people simply didn’t get the permit, but they still got the chicken.”

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

They’ve also loosened restrictions on cold-blooded critters. City dwellers are now legally entitled to have reptiles in their homes.

There’s part of the ordinance that hits Johnson’s heart the most — a no-kill policy “in order to make sure we’re not putting down any animals unless they are either too dangerous for the public to be out there, or unless they’re too sick to recover,” said Johnson.

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The new ordinance also discusses feral cat colonies and humane traps for animals who are captured, and makes one of America’s most livable cities more creature comfortable.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield