Iguana Ignites Pet Concerns

Resort town may reconsider boardwalk access

By Jack Heinbaugh
|  Monday, May 3, 2010  |  Updated 4:13 PM EDT
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"Would You Like to Pet My Iguana?"

Associated Press

Don't take it out on the iguana!

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Don't be surprised if you see something exotic in Ocean City, Md., this year.

A city resident has a reptile permit for his pet iguana, which he's been taking for walks. Thus Joseph Short is known as the "iguana man."

He's also known to ask people on the boardwalk if they'd like to pet his iguana.

In 2007, the City Council granted Short a permit to have the pet, but city law doesn't specifically address whether reptiles are allowed on the boardwalk.

Now, one city official has gotten a complaint about the iguana.

“I know you can’t have one of those animals in your house in Ocean City without a permit, so I don’t understand how they would be allowed to be on the streets, let alone the boardwalk,” said Councilwoman Margaret Pillas to the Ocean City Dispatch.

Reptiles are supposed to be confined to the home, said the city solicitor, who has offered to clarify the law.

The issue will be considered at a future meeting, said City Council President Joe Mitrecic.

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