City Council passes new animal ordinance

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— For the first in ten years, the City Of Wichita Falls has made time major revisions to its animal ordinance that will affect every pet owner in town.

During last month’s meeting, councilors were presented with a version of the ordinance including the tethering of animals riding in the back of pick-up trucks, the removal of livestock production areas, and implementing microchip and spay and neuter requirements in certain instances.

Councilors decided to table the ordinance after some negative feedback from the public for further research and adjustments, which now include adding livestock production areas back into the ordinance and a change to another controversial topic.

“The other thing we did was to take out the requirement for animals to be tethered while they’re riding in the back of a vehicle and put in language in the confinement of a motor vehicle that would add protection for those animals that are left in the back of a vehicle,” Director Of Health Lou Kreidler said.

Kreidler added after 29 revisions, all the feedback from the public, council and different boards helped her team place an ordinance that was good for everyone in the community and helped ensure they got it right. Mayor Stephen Santillana agrees.

“It always can come back to council, we can always modify that. Just right now we wanted to get something adopted. After 28, 29 revisions you need to get something on the books so we can press forward with this new fee structure that was gonna have some increases but also some decreases,” Mayor Of Wichita Falls Stephen Santellana said.

While the annual review of department fees were due in September, council tabled the topic until the animal ordinance was approved. Fee changes as associated with the ordinance include the fee to adopt a dog dropping from $50 to $40 and because microchipping is mandatory in some instances, the animal microchipping fee is dropping from $15 to $10.

“So those fees are lowered,” Kreidler said. “And if your animal is spay or neutered, your license fee will be lower than if it’s unaltered. Also the impound fees.”

While it may have taken ten years to pass changes to the animal ordinance, Mayor Santellana stated they won’t wait another 10 years to make necessary changes for the safety of the animals residing in Wichita Falls.

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