Wednesday, January 14, 2015


A new ordinance regarding pets and livestock was introduced at Monday night's Rockville Mayor and Council meeting, by Councilmember Julie Palakovich-Carr. Palakovich-Carr said she has held a public meeting, and meetings with the Animal Matters Board, the Environment Commission, and other relevant bodies in the city to discuss and refine the legislation. She said these revisions would equal or exceed the standards currently enforced by Montgomery County.

One provision would prohibit the possession of most wild animals considered "dangerous or exotic," including bears and wolves. Owners of rabbits, birds, fish and other non-dangerous exotic pets would no longer have to register with the city. If residents' exotic animals pose a threat to the public, they would be required to notify the police if those pets escape.

The ordinance would allow the city to designate off-leash play areas for dogs on city property. It would also establish a trap-neuter-return program for feral cats, with the goal of reducing their number over time, Palakovich-Carr said.

Goats could be utilize to remove or control vegetation, and up to 5 hens could be held in backyard coops and outdoor enclosures at single-family homes. A setback from homes and property lines would be determined at a future date. The coops and enclosures would be mandatory.

A public hearing will be held on February 9, 2015 on the proposed ordinance.


  1. This is ridiculous. Just how many more Rockville Animal Control officers will need to be hired in order to administer all the chickens, goats, etc.? How much will this cost Rockville taxpayers? Do the majority of Rockville residents want to do this? What the heck is wrong with our developer-friendly, anti-APFO, chicken-happy City Council? Time to vote out the rotten eggs in November 2015.

    1. I disagree. Backyard chickens should be allowed; taxpayers would pay nothing for them since those are purely individual investments and would be treated like any other pets- taxpayers don't pay for family pets, families pay for family pets! Goats, on the other hand, may be supported by taxes if utilized by the city of Rockville. I think it's an interesting idea that should be allowed, however. I doubt many more would have to be hired in comparison; if some do need to be hired, isn't that a good thing in increasing the number of jobs in the area?