Animal Ordinance



An ordinance to regulate the housing, keeping, and maintenance of animals in Holton Township.


ARTICLE 22, GENERAL PROVISIONS –  of  Zoning Ordinance No. 1998, shall be amended by adding a new Section 22, Animal Control Ordinance, reading as follows:


Sec. 22.01       PURPOSE & INTENT


The purpose of this ordinance is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the persons and property within Holton Township, prevent pollution, and promote the humane treatment of all animals.  The provision of this Ordinance shall be applicable to all zoning districts except agricultural.


Sec. 22.02         DEFINITIONS


1.   Animal Unit:  One (1) animal unit equals 500 lbs. total live weight of animals over 90 days of age.


2.      Livestock:  For the purpose of this ordinance shall mean any animal ordinarily maintained outside of the main building or swelling and ordinarily considered as a source of food, riding, or profit.  It shall include but not be limited to horses, cows, mules, swine, goats, sheep, steers, and other large animals.


3.      The term “livestock” shall not include the following:  poultry, fowl, rabbits and fur-bearing animals which are kept for the purpose and value of their eggs, pelts, meat, or as sport.  The aforementioned may be kept within Holton Township without permit if kept and maintained for the owner’s personal use and not for commercial profit.  When kept, the aforementioned shall be properly fenced and housed and shall not constitute a nuisance.

4.    Domestic Animals:  An animal kept as a pet including, but not limited to,                                           all dogs and cats.  The  aforementioned  may  be kept in Holton Township if

kept and maintained for the owner’s personal  pleasure  or  use  and  not for

commercial profit.  When kept, the aforementioned shall be properly fenced,

housed, or under control, and not constitute a nuisance.


5.   Nuisance:  Defined  for  purposes  of  this  ordinance  as  any  condition

offensive by way of odor, noise, filth, annoyance, unsightliness, or other

unsanitary condition.


6.   Animal:  Any living, vertebrate creature, domestic or wild, not including a

human being.




7.      Shelter:  Adequate protection from the elements suitable for the age and

species of the animal and weather conditions to maintain the animal in the

state of good health.


8.   Dangerous Animal:  Any animal which  without provocation attacks or

injures a person who is peacefully conducting themselves in any place where

they  lawfully may be.  Dangerous  animals shall also include  any  animal

which, because of its size, vicious propensity or other characteristic, would

constitute a danger to human life, property, or domestic animals.




1.      Livestock shall be properly fenced and housed so as not to be able to run at large.  Livestock shall be so kept so as not to constitute a nuisance.


2.  Fencing,   shelters   or   other   accessory  structures  for  livestock  shall

be sufficient to retain the  livestock  on  the  owned or  leased  premises

of the keeper of said livestock and shall be no closer than  one  hundred

feet (100) to the keepers residence of  human  water  supply.    Fencing,

shelters and other accessory structures  shall  not  be  closer  than   two

hundred feet (200) to any neighboring  residence,  public  building,  or

human water on adjacent property not owned by the keeper.



Sec. 22.04            LIVESTOCK DENSITY


Livestock density shall be a minimum of two contiguous acres for the first

two (2) animal units and one additional contiguous acre for each two (2)

            animal units thereafter.


Sec. 22.05            GENERAL PROVISIONS


1.      All manure and other waste products shall be managed in accordance with the recommendations set forth in the generally  accepted  agricultural  and management practices.


2.      Keeping of wild animals:  No person shall keep or permit to be  kept  on  his or her premises any wild animal (such as, but not limited to, bear, deer, large snakes, large reptiles or large members of the cat  family) as a pet or for display or exhibition purposes, unless he or she has obtained a permit from the State of Michigan authorizing such activity and compiles with the Township Zoning Ordinance. This sub section shall not apply to performing animal exhibitions or circuses.  An animal control officer shall have the power to release or order the release of any wild animal capable of surviving in  the wild  and/or  turn  such  animal  over to the agency authorized by the State of Michigan to house wild life.


3.      Keeping dangerous animals:  No person shall permit any dangerous animal to be private or public property other than the owner’s property unless such animal is securely muzzled or caged.  Adequate safeguards shall be taken to prevent unauthorized access to a dangerous animal on the owner’s premises by persons unlawfully on the premises.




Sec. 22.06            SPECIAL PERMIT REQUIRED


The following may be established by special use permit of the Planning Commission.


1.      The keeping of poultry, fowl, rabbits and fur-bearing animals for commercial profit by the respective establishment of egg and broiler barns, sportsman’s associations, and shooting preserves, rabbitries and fur-bearing animal ranches.


2.      Milk barn operations defined as barns maintained for keeping of cows or other animals for the sale of their milk.


3.      High-density, fully enclosed and sheltered livestock raising structures.


* 4.   Animal boarding, dog kennels, hospitals and animal rescue.


5.   Such permit can be granted only after proper application as specified

in the Township Zoning Ordinance.  All applications must demonstrate

satisfaction of all local, county, state and federal regulatory and

statutory requirements and particularly must demonstrate

implementation for the proper disposal of animal waste and carcasses,

furnishing of adequate water resources, the avoidance of

contamination and pollution and the elimination of noise and odor



* Revised: 10/30/03






This Ordinance shall relate to, further emphasize and be a guideline for the Holton Township Zoning Ordinance and supercedes any other Ordinance in conflict.


    Sec. 22.08               SEVERANCE CLAUSE


Any section found to be invalid because of reason of unconstitutionality or other reasons shall be separated, but the remainder of the Ordinance shall be in full force and effect.


    Sec. 22.09               PENALTIES


Any violation of any provision of this Ordinance shall be dealt with under provisions of the Civil Infraction Ordinance.

      Sec. 22.10             EFFECT


This Ordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days after the date of publication.