Several Ideas Shared at Stray Animal/Animal Control Meeting

A Storm Lake City Council work session was held at the high school auditorium on Monday to discuss stray animals and animal control within the community.

Police Chief Chris Cole said animal complaints have decreased, while citations are up due to changes made in enforcement procedures within the department. Cole cited five animal hoarding and abuse incidents in Storm Lake since 2021. There were zero such incidents in 2019 and 2020.

Claudia De Leon works at Lake Animal Hospital, and said she appreciates that the City collaborates with them so strays can find a home, but said they should work to find solutions when new problems arise…

One Storm Lake resident said there are a lot of cats in his neighborhood, and would like to have a way to get them neutered if he were able to trap them. Chief Cole said some cities have trap-neuter-release programs, and an ordinance change would be required for that locally.

Local resident Sue Lyngaas proposed those in attendance get together to start a volunteer animal shelter…

Council member Meg McKeon said community members need to be educated on whether or not dogs or cats need to be licensed, as well as on other animal-related matters.

De Leon offered a sign-up sheet to create a Facebook group to communicate and be involved with stray animals. Lake Animal Hospital veterinarian Dianne Johnson said they are interested in getting a shelter started, and are willing to work with the city and public. Several individuals met after the meeting to discuss forming a steering committee.

Another animal control work session will be held at the council meeting this coming Monday, April 15th to narrow ideas to bring forward for review. City Manager Keri Navratil reminded the public that new ordinances and changes take time to implement.