Graphic: Johnson County Humane Society’s logo.

Johnson County Humane Society

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Animal Law & Legislation

|  Want to Work for Better Laws?  |   Familiarize Yourself with the Law  |   Local Ordinances  |   State Law  |   Federal Law   |   Animal Law Links   |     


Want to Work on Better Laws for Animals?

 E-mail us and we’ll add you to our Legislative E-mail List so you’ll know when (and who) to contact about what.

 Join the Johnson County Humane Society (JCHS) and become an active member!

 Join the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

 Join the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies (IFHS). This nonprofit organization serves as the umbrella group that links animal advocates and organizations across the state. IFHS supports and actively promotes legislation that protects animals. They accomplish this through lobbying and educating our state legislature about animal-related issues. The IFHS also responds to and investigates allegations of cruelty to animals and offers rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of perpetrators.

 Join Iowa Voters for Companion Animals (IVCA). This nonprofit organization focuses on grassroots engagement to influence legislation to improve Iowa animal-welfare laws. They also work to educate and support the law enforcement and judicial communities in the enforcement and administration of these new laws.

It’s Lobby, Lobby, Lobby...or Nothing (good) Happens

Humane laws with sharp teeth don’t just happen. It takes a lobbyist who knows the issues that animals in our state face, and who is familiar with the backgrounds and agendae of the senators and representatives in the state capitol. Fortunately, the lobbyists working for the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies have known how to make things happen.

 That’s why Iowa now has a spay/neuter requirement for shelters/humane societies adopting out dogs and cats.

 That’s why pound seizure is no longer mandatory in Iowa.

 That’s why Iowa now has an animal torture law.

 That’s why Governor Vilsack vetoed the Iowa Dove Hunting bill in January 2001.

 That’s why Governor Culver just signed the Puppy Mill bill in March 2010.

These laws didn’t come cheaply. It costs roughly $20,000 per year for IFHS to keep a lobbyist on the hill. If only everyone who wants to see that animals in our state get the protection they deserve would chip in...

JCHS has a member who has served on the IFHS board of directors for more than 20 years. The Board meets quarterly in Des Moines. E-mail us and we’ll get back to you about attending the next IFHS meeting, or about how you can support animal welfare and protection law in Iowa.

Familiarize Yourself with the Law

You probably have some ideas about how animals should (and should not) be treated. Be prepared to be “underwhelmed” by the animal-related laws and ordinances in effect in this largely agrarian state. Change comes slowly. Get to know the rules and those who make them.

Local Ordinances

Coralville Pet OrdinancesChapter 55 Animal Protection and Controlor call the City Clerk (248-1700)

Coralville City Council

Jim FausettMayor

Tom Gill

Mitch Gross

Bill Hoeft

John Lundell

Jill Dodds


Hills Animal OrdinancesChapter 36 Regulation of Animals and Fowlor call the City Clerk (679-3197)

Hills City Council

Tim Kemp (679-3309)Mayor

Steve Harris (679-2969)

Merle J. Hill l (679-2571)

Bruce Endris (679-2413)

Thomas Kirkpatrick (679-2426)

Cathy S. Kneble (679-2517)


Iowa City Pet OrdinancesTitle 8 Police Regulations: Chapter 3 General Animal Regulations & Chapter 4 Animal Controlor call the City Clerk (356-5043)

Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center or call (356-5295)

Iowa City Urban Deer Management

Iowa City City Council

Jim Throgmorton (District C)

Connie Champion (District B • 337-6608)

Terry Dickens (At Large)

Matt Hayek—Mayor (At Large)

Susan Mims (At Large) 

Rick Dobyns(District A)

Michelle Payne (At Large)


Johnson County Animal Ordinancescall the Board of Supervisors (356-6000)

Johnson County Board of Supervisors

Pat Harney

Janelle RettigChair

Terrence Neuzil Vice Chair

Rod Sullivan

John Etheredge


Lone Tree  Pet Ordinancescall the City Clerk (629-5166)

Lone Tree City Council

Kice Brown (629-5524)

Sandy Flake (471-8277)

Alysa Coppinger (629-4437)

Mitch Swinton (430-8734)

Helen Lemley (629-4299)

Rick OgrenMayor (321-4291)


North Liberty Pet Regulationsor call the City Clerk (626-5700)

North Liberty City Council

Coleen Chipman

Terry L. Donahue

Chris A. Hoffman

Gerry Kuhl

Thomas A. Salm—Mayor

Brian Wayson

Oxford Pet Regulationscall the City Clerk (828-4742)

Oxford City Council

Bryan S. Cooling (828-1017)

Darrell W. Ealy (828-4558)

Mary Sue Jiras (828-4830)

Sara Morlan (828-1073)

Don SaxtonMayor (828-4778)

Gary L. Wilkinson (828-6044)


Schueyville Pet Regulationscall the City Clerk (848-4093)

Schueyville City Council

Bryan S. Bredman—Mayor (848-8174)

Jerry Cada (848-2020)

Mickey Coonfare (848-7302)

Brent Foss (848-8212)

Steve Kass (na)

Chris Lacy (857-4779)


Solon Pet RegulationsChapter 55Dogs and Catsor call the City Clerk (624-3755)

Solon City Council

Jessie Ehlinger (na)

Ronald R. Herdliska (624-2113)

Brad Kunkel (na)

Mark Krall (624-3234)

Cami Jo Rassmussen—Mayor (624-2391)

Steve Stange (624-2163)


Swisher Pet RegulationsChapter 55 Animal Protection and Controlor call the City Clerk (857-4539)

Swisher City Council

Michael Stagg (857-4429)

Mary Gudenkauf (857-4353)

Angie Hinrichs (857-4383)

Sandra Fults (750-9468)

Tim MasonMayor (892-3065)

Larry Svec (857-4532)


Tiffin Pet Regulationscall the City Clerk (545-2572)

Tiffin City Council

James Bartels (545-2613)

Steve Berner—Mayor (545-2572)

Michael C. Ryan (545-2203)

Peggy Knowling Upton (545-7742)

Royce W. Phillips (545-1739)

Joan F. Kahler (545-7276)


Univerity Heights Pet RegulationsOrdinance 55or call the City Clerk (541-9230)

University Heights City Council

Louise From—Mayor (354-1433)

Mike Haverkamp (337-7180)

Rosanne Hopson (337-9985)

Jim Lane (338-4963)

Brennan T. McGrath (339-1176)

Janet Leff (337-4418)


West Branch Pet RegulationsChapter 55 Animal Controlor call the City Clerk (643-5888)

West Branch City Council

Dick Stoolman (643-2143)

Mary Beth Stevenson (643-2068)

Jim Oaks—Mayor Pro Tem (643-2151)

Colton Miller (na)

Jordan M. Ellyson (643-7346)

Mark Worrell—Mayor (643-2047)


State Law

Visit the Code of Iowa (IC) online. Copies of past Codes are available online from 1995 to the present. (Be aware that updating the online version of the Code after each legislative session is not the State’s first priority. The following chapters are key:

Chapter 145B    Dogs for Scientific Research    aka “State Pound Seizure Law”
(see also IAC Chapter 128
   Dogs for Scientific Research)

Chapter 162    Care of Animals in Commercial Establishments    aka “State Animal Welfare Law” (which also includes the newly-passed “Puppy Mill Bill” allowing IDALS to inspect USDA-licensed breeders upon request)
(see also IAC Chapter 67
   Animal Welfare)

Chapter 162.20    Sterilization    aka “State Spay/Neuter Law”

Chapter 717    Injury to Livestock

Chapter 717A    Offenses Relating to Agricultural Production

Chapter 717B    Injury to Animals Other than Livestock

Visit the Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) online. The IAC is a composite of rules written by the executive branch which have the full force and effect of law (i.e., how the laws are enforced). IAC chapters relate to chapters in the Code of Iowa. The following chapters are key:

Agriculture & Land Stewardship (21)
Chapter 67
   Animal Welfare
(relates to IC Chapter 162
   Care of Animals in Commercial Establishments)

Agriculture & Land Stewardship (21)
Chapter 67
   Animal Welfare:  §12.6 Fostering Oversight Organizations and Foster Care Homes
(relates to IC Chapter 162    Care of Animals in Commercial Establishments)

Public Health (641)
Chapter 128
   Dogs for Scientific Research
(relates to IC Chapter 145B
   Dogs for Scientific Research and IC Chapter 351A    Dogs & Other Animals)

The IAC is a PDF file. If you don’t already have Adobe’s Acrobat Reader (the application necessary to read PDF files), you can download it free by clicking the button below:

Graphic: Get Adobe Reader
State Officials

Terry Branstad (R)—Governor

Senator Joe Bolkom (D)    District 43

Senator Robert Dvorsky (D)    District 37

Representative David Jacoby (D)    District 74

Representative Bobby Kaufmann (R)    District 73

Representative Vicki Lensing (D)    District 85

Representative Mary Mascher (D)    District 86

Representative Sally Stutsman (D)    District 77


Finding Your Way Around the Iowa General Assembly

From “Meet Your Legislators” to Lobbyist Information

In the Chamberschoose from live audio broadcast of chamber activity or Chamber Action (text log of event in each chamber. Also, schedules of chamber events, the display board, subcommittee schedules, session calendars, and rules of procedure.

Track Legislationfind bills, resolutions, and amendments by number, subject, committee, date, sponsor, etc. Popular tools include:

Bill Bookall versions of bills, amendments, resolutions, study bills, bill histories, fiscal notes, and sponsor information

Bill Watchallows you to create customized lists of bills to track

Directory of Legislationindices of bills, study bills, resolutions, and amendments

Study Bill Committee Trackingfind the committee assignments for study bills

Bill Version Trackinglocate multiple versions of a bill or study bill

Total Bill Historydisplays legislative action for a Bill or Resolution


Federal Law

Visit the United States Code (USC) online. Copies of past Codes are available online from 1994 to the present. The following chapters are key:

Title 7Agriculture:  Chapter 54    Transportation, Sale, & Handling of Certain Animals    aka “Animal Welfare Act”
(see also CFR Title 9:  Chapter 1
   Subchapter AAnimal Welfare Regulations Parts 1-4)

Title 15Commerce & Trade:  Chapter 44    Protection of Horses    aka “Horse Protection Act”
(see also CFR Title 9:  Chapter 1
   Subchapter AAnimal Welfare Regulations Parts 11-12)

Visit the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) online. Copies of past Codes are available online from 1996 to the present. The following chapters are key:

Title 9Animals & Animal Products:  Chapter 1    Animal & Plant Health    Subchapter AAnimal Welfare Regulations
Part 1Definition of Terms
Part 2
Regulations
 Attending Veterinarian & Adequate Veterinary Care
 Compliance with Standards & Holding Period
 Identification of Animals
 Licensing
 Miscellaneous
 Records
 Registration
 Research Facilities
 Stolen Animals
Part 3Standards: Specs for Humane Handling, Care, Treatment, & Transportation
 Dogs & Cats
 Guinea Pigs & Hamsters
 Marine Mammals
 Nonhuman Primates
 Rabbits
 Warmblooded Animals Other than the Above
Part 4Rules of Practice Governing Proceedings
(relates to USC Title 7:  Chapter 54
   “Animal Welfare Act”)

Title 9Animals & Animal Products:  Chapter 1    Animal & Plant Health    Subchapter AAnimal Welfare Regulations
Part 11Horse Protection Regulations
• Prohibitions Concerning Exhibitors
Part 12Rules of Practice
(relates to USC Title 15:  Chapter 44
   “Horse Protection Act”)

User-friendly versions of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Animal Welfare Regulations, and a whole bunch of other animal care/welfare stuff you’d probably never find even if you were looking!

Lists of USDA-licensees. The same standards of animal care apply to all registered and licensed businesses, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) field inspectors make periodic unannounced visits to all locations where animals are held to see that regulations and standards are followed. There are printed Guidleines for licensing and registration.

Basically, the Federal animal care standards cover humane handling, housing, space, feeding and watering, sanitation, ventilation, shelter from extremes of weather, adequate veterinary care, separation of incompatible animals, transportation, and handling in transit.

 Breedersof pets, lab animals, etc.

 Carrierstransport regulated animals for hire (e.g., airlines, railroads, motor carriers, shipping lines, etc.)

 Class A Animal Dealersdeal only in animals they breed and raise

 Class B Animal Dealersinclude brokers, bunchers, and operators of auction sales

 Federal Research Facilities

 Handlerstake custody of regulated animals in connection with transporting them on public carriers

 Registered Exhibitorshave animals on display to the public or conduct performances featuring animals (e.g., zoos, marine mammal shows, circuses, carnivals, petting zoos, etc.).

 Research Facilitiesinclude teaching institutions, drug firms, diagnostic labs, etc.

 VA Hospitals

Federal Officials

Barack Obama (D) President

Vice President Joe Biden (D)

Senator Chuck Grassley (R)

Senator Tom Harkin (D)

Representative Bruce Braley (R)    District 1

Representative Dave Loebsack (R)    District 2

Representative Thomas Latham (R)   District 3

Representative Steve King (R)    District 4


Animal Law Links

Animal Care/Condition Scalesdeveloped at Tufts University.

Animal Welfare Institutefounded in 1955 when only two federal laws to protect animals existed. Since then, AWI has worked for the successful enactment of more than15 additional federal laws. Check out their Compassion Index of your state/federal legislators.

Anti-cruelty Statute InformationThe Humane Society of the United State’s (HSUS) blueprint for drafting amendments to strengthen state anti-cruelty laws and a compilation of current anti-cruelty laws by state.

Cat Law a discussion of State cat laws.

Society for Animal Protective Legislation(SAPL) was founded in 1955 when only two federal laws to protect animals existed. Since then, SAPL has worked for the successful enactment of over 15 additional federal laws.

Veterinary Government & Law Linksfrom the Congressman Quarterly Votewatch to the Center for Wildlife Law to the FDA.

Graphic:  Be kind to animals.
Last update: 9/16/13

Contact Us

JCHS      P.O. BOX 2775      IOWA CITY, IA  52244-2775


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