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Compromise Reached in Animal Restraint Ordinance; Vote Soon to Come

Chaining your animal while you're not there to watch could soon become illegal.  That's if a new ordinance passes at the next Wichita Falls City Council meeting.
If a new city ordinance passes in Wichita Falls, you will only be able to chain your animals outdoors if you're standing outside within 50 feet of them.
Lou Kreidler, director of the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health District, says, "They have to be there at all times, so you can't put an animal on the chain and go in the house, or you can't stand in your doorway or look out a window.  You have to be physically outside with the animal."
For some residents whose dogs live outdoors and continually find creative ways to escape their yards, the ordinance could be seen as inconvenient.
"M dog is not a family dog, but he protects kids, and he protects my property," said one resident who voiced his opinion during Tuesday's city council meeting.
But built into the proposed ordinance is a way to educate and help those who can't afford a fence.
Leslie Harrelson, founder of P.E.T.S. Low-cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, says, The ordinance would be contingent on a fund that will provide fence assistance for people to get their dogs off chains.  A lot of people may already want to take their dog of the chain, but don't have the money to do so."
"I think it meets to needs of those individuals who want to work outside and have their animals with them, but don't have any other means to keep them in the yard," Kreidler says.
This item will be taken up at the next city council meeting, which is scheduled for March 19.
If a new ordinance is adopted, it would take effect 180 days after the adoption date.
P.E.T.S. Low-cost Spay and Neuter Clinic is raising money to help with educating residents about how to fence in their animals in low cost ways.
If you'd like to help, call them at 723-7387.
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