The City Council, at their 2018 goal setting session, adopted Pet-Friendly Community: Policy Direction and Actions as a Policy Agenda High Priority for 2018-2020. The guidance from the Council included that this would not be only about pets in parks but would engage partners in how we could become a more pet-friendly community. According to Iowa Code Chapter 717E, “pet” means a living animal which is limited to a dog, cat, or an animal normally maintained in a small tank or cage in or near a residence, including but not limited to a rabbit, gerbil, hamster, mouse, parrot, canary, mynah, finch, tropical fish, goldfish, snake, turtle, gecko, or iguana.
The 2017 Imagine Dubuque Comprehensive Plan also contains recommendations related to pet-friendly community.
• Re-evaluate the Parks and Recreation Plan, potentially through a strategic update or addendum, to identify opportunities to provide flexible, programmable space; improve active recreation connectivity in neighborhoods; and enhance Dubuque’s “dog-friendliness.”
• Evaluate and revise, as appropriate, the dog-related policies for all of Dubuque’s park and recreation facilities.
In November 2018, the City Council approved creation of a Pet-Friendly Community Action Plan based off of the US Conference of Mayors' Pet-Friendly City Assessment. The Pet-Friendly Community work group includes six (6) City staff members, a Park and Recreation Advisory Commission representative, a representative of Friendly Intelligent Dog Owners (FIDO), a knowledgeable individual on the issue who might provide a different perspective than FIDO, a representative from the Humane Society and a person who is involved in the pet businesses. The agendas of the meetings are on the links provided.