The Laredo Health Department is asking City Council to approve stricter ordinances for pet owners.
The new list of laws, however, has many local veterinarians speaking out, saying the city of Laredo doesn't even enforce current animal ordinances, and even stricter laws will instead create a bigger pet problem in Laredo.
“The current ordinance does not have a penalty. What we're proposing would include a 100 dollar fine.”
Dr. Hector Gonzalez, talking at City Council, asking that current pet ordinances be updated and, in some cases, include penalties for pet owners who have not registered their dog or cat.
“With all due respect to our City Council, this was going to institute a fee 100 dollars minimum, 500 dollars maximum.”
Other ordinances proposed put more restrictions on exotic animals, meaning owning a reptile like a snake, for example, would be out of the question.
New rules, some vets say, are not suitable for Laredo.
“The entire 48 pages were pulled from Dallas, Texas, instead of looking at other border cities with similar environmental situations were surrounded with ranches and farmland even within our city.”
The wording on other codes would also impact local businesses.
“Currently anyone can put a hamster, ferret can interact with our bird in the store, but all that would be banished.”
Rather than adopting tougher ordinances, vets are asking Council Members to take a different approach.
Many vets say they're willing to microchip the city's pets for a minimal cost over the span of one year and even register them for free, making it easier for code enforcement officers to identify the owner and solve several problems.
“I feel we need to work harder to implement new laws already on the books get them implemented properly before we make new laws.”
In the end, City Council decided to table the issue and gave Dr. Gonzalez 30 days to meet with local veterinarians and possibly come up with ordinances that are a little better suited for Laredo.
The also plan on making sure the current ordinances are enforced before moving any further.