WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — City officials are urging pet owners to know and understand their furry friends’ own basic rights.

Nicki Bacon with Wichita Falls Animal Services has encouraged pet parents to refresh their caretaking knowledge with their latest Ordinance Campaign. According to Bacon, September’s topic concentrates on animals’ basic necessities.

To properly care for outdoor animals in particular, Bacon discussed the need for food, water, shelter and shade, and how tethering can actually do more harm than good.

She said pets should have adequate food for their size, clean, potable water, and ample shade during the day. Bacon warned that as the weather constantly shifts, water should be replaced if it freezes or gets too hot in a metal bowl.

Bacon also warned against tethering, stating the city requires supervision of tethered animals of at least 50 feet. The rope or chain being used for tethering must not exceed 10 percent of the animal’s body weight.

The City of Wichita Falls has emphasized its no-tolerance policy of animal cruelty and is hoping to spread the word, one ordinance at a time.