New animal ordinance proposed to control rabies in Laredo
A proposed animal ordinance would require pets to be registered with the city.
Local veterinarians say our city is behind in pet registration, but that is not the problem.
The issue is the cost involved with how the city wants to collect the registration fee.
Cities across the state have already adopted the policy of registering pets to keep track of animals and vaccinations.
The city of Laredo would like to do the same but how they're going to do it has local vets upset.
Local veterinarians believe all pets should be registered with the city of laredo, however they say, registration should not be linked to the rabies vaccine because the extra fee could cause a major public health danger:
“If you alter the price of the rabies vaccine then you run a great risk that our number of dogs being vaccinated will drop dramatically and leave us wide open for an epidemic."
Initially proposed by the city of Laredo Health Department was a $12 fee with your rabies vaccine.
So, if your local vet charges $12 for the rabies shot and then tacks on a $12 registration fee for the city. A pet owner would be spending $24 when they go to get their pet vaccinated.
"Laredo cannot afford those kinds of prices so basically when you start charging those kind of prices you would be discouraging people from getting their dogs vaccinated for rabies."
Director of the Health Department Dr. Hector Gonzalez says, they thought it would be easier to have the two together.
"We’ll work out with the vet so we can delineate what part is registration and what part is for the vaccine."
Also included in the proposed animal ordinance, all aggressive dogs must be micro-chipped.
"Those dogs will have to have a micro-chip so we can identify them because we've had persons who say, that's not my dog."
Local vets might be against Dr. Gonzalez linking registration and the rabies vaccine but they are on board with microchipping.
“If you microchip that is a number that a dog will have for the rest of its life."
Nothing is final.
Details still need to be worked out before presented to council for approval.