Category Archives: reptiles

“I’m the zookeeper,” says West Hartford zealot

AJ Gutman’s Steele Road chalet has become an animal sanctuary, according to a fawning, ridiculous story in today’s Hartford Courant.

Gutma’s got 30 iguanas, “a turtle, two tortoises, several geckos and other lizards, some frogs, a few parrots, and a ‘genetically diverse’ dog named Tali, between 50 and 60 animals in all. She doesn’t keep a precise count.” the story reported.

Clearly, the piece was written because Gutman is trying to get $15,000 annually in donations to keep her menagerie fed and content in her 9-room home on a quiet residential street.

I haven’t looked up the relevant statute, but can it be possible that you can’t have two dozen little dogs in your home but you can have the Bronx Zoo? I hope not.

There’s a place in the world for kind-hearted souls like Mrs. Gutman. But it’s not in the middle of densely populated West Hartford. It’s out in the country, where animals in this quantity belong. We can’t have people operating private zoos in their homes like this or there’s no point to regulating what owners do at all.

I trust that a zoning enforcement officer will be knocking on Mrs. Gutman’s door tomorrow morning.



Filed under Hartford Courant, iguanas, News, pets, Public safety, reptiles, West Hartford, Zoning, zoning enforcement officer