WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls–Wichita County Public Health District is moving on to the next step in the long process of adopting revisions to the animal ordinance.
Revisions include restrictions on animals riding in the back of pick-up trucks and microchip and spay and neuter requirements for certain instances.
After about a year in the making, major animal ordinance changes could be coming to Wichita Falls.
Stakeholder meetings are complete, the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee has made its revisions and the public has had a chance to make their voices heard.
“Our next step will be to take it as a discussion item in the Oct. 1 city council meeting and then hopefully the 15th we’ll have it on for a vote,” Wichita Falls–Wichita County Director of Health Lou Kreidler said.
Friday afternoon, the Wichita Falls–Wichita County Public Health Board voted unanimously to pass the ordinances.
“Any time you get to the point of Board of Health with one of our ordinances and we know that we’re ready to council it’s like we’re in the last stages, and we’re just ready to move forward,” Kreidler said.
“They presented it, I thought, from two aspects, one what’s good for the people of the community to protect them and number two what’s good for the animals too that we need to protect their interest as their stewards in our community,” family physician and board member Keith Williamson said.
However, the board did have some questions regarding permits for businesses like the “Rover” app.
“Apparently it’s a social app that allows you to advertise your services as a dog sitter and that was news to me and news to other members of the committee, but they’re going to research that before it’s presented to the council,” Williamson said.
It’s taken 25 drafts to get to this point. One change is the microchipping and spay and neuter requirement in specific situations. Initially, the draft consisted of microchipping all pets.
“We kind of took a look at that and went back to the same requirements for when an animal will have to be spay or neutered, so if your animal is impounded, if your animal is at large and it’s returned to home, if your animal is in quarantine, any of those,” Kreidler said.
Revisions to the animal ordinance are now heading to city council with public health officials in hopes of a positive outcome.
The animal ordinance will be on the October 1st city council agenda and may be voted on as early as Oct. 15. If approved by the city council, it will take effect on Nov. 15.
Click here to read the draft in its entirety here.