A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked if Clovis should address issues related to exotic animals in the city. Some responses:
“Only if they are going to roam free and eat my flowers. Why not address real problems like why don’t we have enough police officers. Let’s worry about real problems and not make them up.”
— Jeff Greene, Clovis
“Animals that make the best pets are ones that have been selectively bred for generations to live with humans. Even when the best care is given, exotic animals seldom live as long in captivity as they do in the wild. I, for one, do not believe that most exotic animals should be kept by anyone. They belong in their home habitat.
“Coming up with a list of what is and is not exotic will be a challenge for the authors of this ordinance and the list will face a lot of resistance from current owners. I keep Koi fish in a pond in my back yard, as do many others in the city. Are these exotic? I see lizards, turtles, huge spiders, and more displayed at most pet stores for sale. Are these exotic?
“Enforcement also will be a task, which may cost the city government dearly in terms of training, manpower, and perhaps even equipment. If we ban the keeping of exotics do we also ban their sale within the city? After all, you shouldn’t be able to purchase something you are not permitted to have.
“Be careful what you ask for! Perhaps we should leave well enough alone and just enforce our current zoning laws.”
— Bob Baker, Clovis
“I know of no major problems with exotic animals in Clovis. If you’re referring to the camel situation … I believe there is a 10-foot wall surrounding the camel and he has never posed a problem. Someone just has a burr in the wrong place.”
— Michael Williams, Clovis
“I say put them out in the country with the horses and the cows.”
— James W. McDonald, Clovis
“Yes, I believe this issue should be addressed in depth. Personally, I oppose caging wild animals because this robs them of a natural life. Many will not breed in captivity and they do not live as long. Large game preserves are a better method, I believe.”
— Harold Burris, Clovis
“Yes, I believe that Clovis does need to address this issue of exotic animals before it gets carried too far … just as they should address stop and go lights at intersections instead of waiting for someone to get killed.
“This issue needs to be addressed so that people are aware of what constitutes the care of these exotic animals that they want to have as pets. Now we are not talking about exotic birds; we are talking about giraffes, zebras, alligators, large snakes, monkeys, etc. and other exotic species of so-called pets.
“The time involved to maintain and care for these pets is more than a person can handle from in their home. Take a look at the current population of cats and dogs alone. Just having a pet for the sake of saying they are cute alone does not constitute a reason for obtaining one of them. These wild creatures need more than just the occasional, “hi, how are you doing,” sort of thing.”
— Gerald Majewski, Clovis
“I don’t think anyone should have an exotic animal in the city or in the country except the Clovis zoo. Most people don’t know how to handle, feed or maintain an exotic animal. Leave the wild animals in the wilds and not in someone’s collection of animals to show off to their friends. Clovis needs to say no to any proposal to keep exotic animals in the city.”
— Ardyth Elms, Clovis
“Every single person to whom I showed the front-page article about the city’s debate over exotic animals had the same reaction: “They (city officials) don’t have enough to do!” And I agree. There is work to be done, and almost none of it relates to exotic animals.
“Clovis is reacting not planning. The city bases its actions primarily on complaints. It doesn’t take much planning to see what has been done in other cities about city planning issues, including exotic animals.
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, or go through debates on what should be done. Good city planning policy has been written already, and Clovis should make good use of the work that others have done for this issue, and for all the others that will be associated with progress and growth.
“It is a waste of taxpayer’s money to spend much time on issues like these. Find who has a good plan, a good policy, then adapt and implement it. Not hard. Even an unpaid volunteer could do that leg work.”
— Carolyn Spence, Clovis
“I don’t think the city should dictate which animals a person may own. I do support a free permit issued by animal control assuming the owner can provide proof they can treat the animal humanely. Furthermore, the owner should provide a detailed plan of how they intend to restrain the animal if it gets loose. I met a man in Montana who was able to keep a pet bear for these very reasons.”
— Richard Lopes, Clovis
“I don’t know about exotic animals, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more exotic dancers.”
— Wendel Sloan, Portales