WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls Animal Services are announcing a new ordinance related to dogs being ‘off-leash’ or ‘at large.’

Nicki Bacon from Animal Services sat down with Carney Porter on Monday, February 27, to talk about what the ordinance means for pet owners.

Carney Porter: The Wichita Falls Animal Services is launching an ordinance that pet owners in our area should be aware of, and here to tell us more about this is Animal Service Administrator Nikki Bacon. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Nicki Bacon: You’re very welcome. So this is for our citizens. A lot of people don’t read ordinances when they move into a new city or if they’ve been living in their cities. They just assume that this is how I raise my dog – It’s okay.

So this month, we’re focusing on at-large and off-leash animals. A lot of people don’t realize that when you let your dog out in your front yard and you don’t have a fenced-in front yard, even for a couple of seconds, that’s considered at-large. And what at-large means is any animal that is running at-large and not controlled by a means of an owner, by a leash or a rope, or not contained within their premises.

Cats are a different story, cats are not considered at large if they are spayed, microchipped, and have their city license. So we tend to tell people to give cats breakaway collars because they do get into a little bit of mischief, and we don’t want them to hang themselves on a fence and get caught up. Cats are allowed to free roam as long as they comply with those sections of the city ordinances.

A dog is at large if even if they’re spayed and/or microchipped. But if they’re running up and down the street, that is considered at large and that can become a public nuisance or a hazard. A lot of children around schools have issues during the morning when busses pick them up or after school. So we encourage everyone when they bring their dog outside of their home and they don’t have a fenced-in area, make sure you do have a leash on it because anything could come by and get that dog’s attention and then they could run after a child, a car or a bike, and that can become a danger within your neighborhoods.

Carney Porter: It’s an important thing to follow. And if you need any information and details on all of this you can view the animal ordinances on The City’s website.