This is the first time in 15 years that the City of Lubbock has made any changes to its very old and out-dated ordinance. Animal services say they handle 28,000 pets a year. They say the number one reason why a pet is not returned to its owner in Lubbock is because it is not wearing an I.D. tag. That is why the city is cracking down on this new ordinance.
Here are some of the major changes: Dogs and cats that are at least 4 months old must wear identification at all times and be vaccinated. This also applies to roaming cats. The city wants to control the feral cat population through spay and neutering programs. Dog owners can not tie up dogs with a tether less than ten feet. Tethered dogs must be surrounded by a sturdy fence. A new pet limitation is included in the ordinance. Households are only allowed four dogs and four cats. If you want more, then you have to apply for a permit through the city of Lubbock.
Tuesday's meeting garnered interest. Seventy citizens showed up to listen and speak about the ordinance. Some people showed concern about the manpower that might not be available for the changes. "You're asking for more enforcement. We waited five hours before we could get someone from animal control to come out and cut down a possum the someone maliciously killed and hung in our neighborhood," said one woman.
A part of the ordinance includes more enforcement power to officers who are called out to a situation. If the new ordinance is not followed, the city will have the authority to impound your pet, exclude it from the city limits, or euthenize it.
The city says the purpose of the changes are to promote responsible pet ownership. Health officials noted that improper handling of animals can lead to human deaths which has taken place in Lubbock.
Health officials will present a final draft to the city council next month for approval.
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