RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The City of Raleigh’s ordinance restricting owning exotic or dangerous animals has been in effect for nearly a year now, and people who owned those animals prior to the ordinance taking effect are now required to register them under a new portion of the measure that took effect last month. 

But who’s really following the rules?

CBS 17 submitted a public records request to see how many dangerous wild animal registration permits the city issued, and just a single one came back.

At Avian and Exotic Animal Care, owner and veterinarian Dr. Salina Locke sees just about everything, but dogs and cats.

“We do see a lot of non-human primates,” Locke said. “We probably see, you know, a couple a day and these are you know everything from the size of a squirrel up to the size of like a house cat.”

As of July 1, exotic pet owners who were grandfathered into the ordinance are required to register their pets with the Raleigh Police Department’s Animal Control.

“I know there’s more than one, there’s more than one person that needs to be on that list,” Dr. Locke said.

The one person on the list right now is the owner of two common marmosets. CBS 17 asked Carla, who did not want to share her last name because of privacy concerns, whether she was surprised to be the only person with the permit.

“Yes and no, a lot of people who own exotic animals prefer privacy,” she said.

She said the permit process was simple and straightforward. She disagrees with the ban in the first place, however.

“The ordinance was kind of shortsighted and in some regards silly,” she said. 

Dr. Locke thinks some owners don’t know about the permit, but also said owners may have other concerns.

“The ban is kind of vague, so I think that people are afraid to register their animals because they’re afraid that the government’s going to come and take their pets,” Dr. Locke said. “So, I think some clarity needs to be given for it, for those people. That’s kind of the chatter that I’ve heard we go to a lot of reptile expos and exotic animal expos.”

The City Council passed the ban after a venomous zebra cobra was on the loose for days in a Raleigh neighborhood two years ago.

According to the ordinance, owners who do not register their animals could be subject to a civil penalty of $500 per animal.