One snake too many

The first test of Minot’s recently revised City Ordinance regarding harboring snakes has resulted in a plea of guilty.

Vincent Fugeman, Minot, entered a guilty plea before Municipal Court Judge Ashley Beall Wednesday morning. Fugeman was cited on February 5 of this year for keeping prohibited animals. Five snakes were found in his home. Minot’s City Ordinance allows a maximum of four.

Ironically, the first reading of the then proposed ordinance happened the evening of Feb. 5. The required second reading and passage of the ordinance occurred on March 5 of this year.

The ordinance reads, “No person shall harbor or keep more than ten (10) animals, of which ten (10) animals no more than four (4) may be cats or dogs, or a combination of dogs or cats, and no more than four (4) may be snakes, upon premises within the city which are owned or controlled by him, unless a permit is obtained pursuant to the subsections which follow.”

Wednesday’s Municipal Court appearance was for the purpose of entering a change of plea. Fugeman entered a not guilty plea on April 12 and had requested a bench trial on the matter. Wednesday’s change of plea resulted in a penalty of $225 in fines and fees and brought the matter to a close. Fugeman also had to show compliance with the City Ordinance. He has two District Court appearances scheduled for later this month on charges of animal neglect and violations of restricted licenses.

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