WACO (May 22, 2013)—The Waco Animal Welfare Advisory Board is proposing changes to the city’s animal ordinance that would require that almost all dogs and cats be spayed or neutered and that all have microchips.
The proposals the board announced Wednesday would require microchips for all pets and spaying or neutering for all pets except for properly documented breeding animals, show animals and animals that are either too young or too old to breed.
It would also prohibit the sale of pets that don’t meet those requirements and that don’t have appropriate vaccinations.
The current ordinance requires microchips for any pet impounded in or adopted from the Waco Animal Shelter and requires spaying or neutering for all dogs and cats except for those whose owners obtain annual intact animal permits.
To qualify for a permit, which costs $35 per animal, the pet must be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and must have some type of identification through a microchip or tag.
The proposal announced Wednesday would rescind the intact animal requirement.
The proposal also calls for a clear definition of animal abandonment and basic requirements for tethering animals.
The current ordinance requires chains that are at least five times the length of the dog and that pets have constant access to water and shelter.
“Throughout the year, particularly in the spring, the animal shelter receives hundreds of unwanted puppies and kittens as a direct result of stray dogs and cats on our streets,” the board said in a press release Wednesday.
“Many of the animals that enter the animal shelter are euthanized because they are already sick or there are no homes available for them,” the board said.
“In addition to this, rabies exposure for stray animals presents operational challenges to animal control and shelter staff.”
“The City of Waco and the Humane Society Central Texas, along with the Waco Animal Alliance, have made improvements through better animal care and improved adoption rates,” the board said.
“However, to reach our goal of becoming a “no kill” community, we must have a policy in place that empowers and promotes responsible pet ownership.”
The board will meet at 6 p.m. May 30 in the city’s Operation Center Training Room at 1415 North 4th St.,to receive public comment on the proposals, a revised draft of which will then be presented to the Waco City Council.