Logansport officials are on the lookout for a rumored cow living in the midtown area east of downtown.
It’s not the only report of livestock living within city limits, and they’re at a time where city officials are looking at clarifying and rewriting the animal ordinances.
There have been reports of a 300-pound pig living in the neighborhoods northwest of the confluence of the Eel and Wabash rivers, there have been chickens recently discovered, and there have been goats in years past.
City statutes have never allowed these kinds of farm livestock within city limits, said Logansport Board of Works member and Cass County Humane Society Director Lisa Terry.
However, “all the ordinances are so outdated,” she said.
She and City Council President Dave Morris, D-Ward 1, have been working on updating animal-related ordinances.
Morris said they hope to have a revised, modern ordinance before the City Council before the end of the year, possibly as soon as November.
Currently, the ordinances still only allow pets — both traditional ones and exotic ones, like snakes. And the humane society handles pets only, including those that are without owners or have been abused.
It has nothing to do with livestock or laws.
“That’s not our mission,” Terry said. “We have no power to enforce.”
The cow is a rumor so far: a small number of people calling the mayor’s office, reported sightings or hearing a mooing in the neighborhood.
The pig has also not been seen by city police or other officials.
Animal Control Officer Brian Hyder said unless people give specific information when they call — such as specific blocks and which side of the road — and don’t call anonymously, so officers can ask more questions, his department can’t do anything.
Code Enforcement Officer Randy Ulery said that if people are keeping the animals in a garage, there’s nothing he can do until he observes them himself. The current ordinances require a city official to see the livestock, Terry explained.
Raising chickens in cities and suburbs has been gaining popularity around the country. Hyder said people have sometimes had chickens in the past, but in the past year or so, the numbers are increasing.
When Ulery has been seeing chickens, he’s been leaving notices on residence doors that the birds are in violation of city ordinances, he said.
The problem is how the owners can get rid of them.
“Most farmers don’t want them because of potential disease,” he said.
In two recent cases when he followed up, one person did find a farmer to take them. The other place had feathers all around, as if the chickens had been turned into dinner, he said.
The Board of Works has dealt with chickens twice already this year.
In January, Police Chief Travis Yike asked for direction on how to handle things after there was a call about 10 to 20 chickens running loose in the 1200 block of Ash Street.
The city’s ordinance 2010-16 states that police can fine residents for not keeping animals on their property. However, there’s no rule on what to do if animal control has to confiscate livestock, including where to take the animals.
The city had been dealing with the chicken situation about a year then. Yike asked the Board of Works then to find an ordinance solution.
The situation came before the Board of Works again on July 21 when there were more reports of chickens. Yike was told to take a copy of the ordinance to violators and tell the violators they need to do something with the animals themselves.
Ulery said he’d been doing that already, too.