Surprising City Animal Laws: Here’s Where Bigfoot Can’t Be Killed

Whether you’re a pet-centric animal lover or not, you’re likely familiar with your local laws regarding dogs and maybe other pets. However, some places tend to have pretty surprising laws regarding animals. It makes you wonder what bizarre story or circumstances are really behind such laws. Has a horse ever even attempted to eat a fire hydrant? Has anyone really tried fishing from a giraffe’s neck? We may never know answers to these questions, or why some bizarre animal laws even exist, but it sure is fun to learn about them. Read on to discover 10 wacky, sometimes legendary city laws regarding cats, dogs, roosters, llamas, bullfrogs, squirrels, and even the mythical sasquatch.

1. Horses can’t eat fire hydrants in Marshalltown, Iowa

American red fire hydrant
Difficult to know how that’s even possible. | fotosav/iStock/Getty Images

If you live in Marshalltown, Iowa, and own a horse, feed it hay instead of fire hydrants. It is purportedly illegal in the town for horses to eat fire hydrants. This certainly prompts the question of what created the need for such a law. The only answer we can think of is that it actually happened there. Imagine the ensuing bellyache.

Next: An animal law created out of superstition

2. Black cats need bells on Friday the 13th

Cat looking at the camera
Suspicion against black cats is pretty excessive. | mile84/iStock/Getty Images

The struggle to keep safe on Friday the 13th is real, for the superstitious. And what better way to keep safe than to know whenever a black cat is around? People of French Lick Springs, Indiana, must have felt that way when they made a law that says black cats must wear bells every Friday the 13th.

Next: A law protecting giraffes in the big city

3. Fishing from a giraffe’s neck is forbidden in Chicago

Giraffe in front of Kilimanjaro mountain
Surprising since there aren’t any wild giraffes running around. | Wassiliy/iStock/Getty Images

Weird animal laws are not just limited to small towns. In Chicago, fishing while sitting on a giraffe’s neck will not be tolerated. Your first thought here may be, just how does one sit on a giraffe’s neck? Your second thought may be, why on earth was there a need for such a law? The answer is not readily available, but it can be assumed the law came about many years ago, given the only place you’ll find giraffes in Chicago these days is the zoo.

Next: A law protects stressed out rodents. 

4. Dogs can’t worry squirrels in Madison, Wisconsin

Squirrel holds a Nut
Dogs are prohibited from bothering squirrels. | Suefeldberg/iStock/GEtty Images

If you bring your dog to the public park next to the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, make sure he does not worry the squirrels. A law prohibits such behavior, including “to chase, worry, molest, disturb or catch any squirrel.” Punishment includes up to 10 days in jail or a $25 fine – for the owner, not the dog.

Next: Mythical creatures are safe from harm in one county. 

5. Killing Bigfoot is illegal in a Washington county

Sasquatch crossing sign in the Oregon wilderness
Killing sasquatch is off limits. | pabradyphoto/iStock/Getty Images

It is possible, after all, for laws to apply to mythical animals as well as real ones. If you spot Bigfoot in the Washington county of Skamania, you had better not put a bullet in him. The county passed a law in 1984 which prohibits the killing of this “endangered” ape-like creature. The penalty? A year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. The county considers itself to be an official “Sasquatch Refuge.”

Next: Don’t even think about crowing anywhere near a house.

6. Roosters, step back before crowing

Male Colorful Rooster crowing
How he measures that is uncertain. | dima266f/iStock/Getty Images

Unless you live and work on a farm, there are likely fewer wakeup calls less welcome than that of a loudly crowing rooster. And if you live in Kenilworth, Illinois, you’d better hurry up and teach your rooster the laws of crowing. This is important because if he wishes to crow, he needs to step back 300 feet from any residence. The law requires it.

Next: Dogs need the mayor’s permission to meet.

7. Congregating dogs need the mayor’s permission

Various breeds of dogs sitting on autumn meadow
No dog parties without the mayor’s permission. | fotorince/iStock/Getty Images

This may be a statewide law, but it applies on the city level. The state of Oklahoma requires that if dogs want to congregate in groups of three or more on private property, they need to obtain a permit signed by their city’s mayor. It would be interesting to see if this law was ever followed and just how, exactly.

Next: A law keeps llamas at bay.

8. Llamas can’t graze on public land in Boulder, Colorado

A llama with two babies in Machu Picchu Inca city, Peru.
Llamas can’t graze in public. | AlexandreFagundes/iStock/Getty Images

Because of the presence of llama farms in Boulder, Colorado, the law about public grazing expressly applies to llamas, along with other animals. You can ask the city manager for permission to let your llama graze, however, and then cross your fingers he’ll say yes.

Next: Whistle for your feathered friend – but not too early.

9. Don’t whistle for your escaped bird before 7 a.m.

White Parrot - Sulphur-crested cockatoo
Your pet bird will have to wait. | jure/Getty images

If you live in Berkeley, California, and your pet bird has escaped, don’t even think about whistling for your feathered friend before 7 a.m. This seems the type of law that was created only due to a very specific incident. Or was it a common occurrence throughout the city? We may never know the answer.

Next: This law is nothing to croak about.

10. Don’t bother the bullfrogs in Hayden, Arizona

American bullfrog
You could get a fine for bothering them. | stammphoto/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re in Hayden, Arizona, don’t even think about bothering the bullfrogs – or the cottontail rabbits, for that matter. Disturbing these creatures – if you are caught – will subject you to a fine and misdemeanor charges in this former copper mining town.

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