It's no secret pet overpopulation is a problem here in Laredo, and now with the new City ordinance making it a requirement to microchip all of your pets, health officials hope Laredoans will comply.
Beginning next month, every pet owner must make sure their cats and dogs are registered through a microchip.
Lori Brizius, the Animal Shelter Director, says:
“If it's registered and you lose your dog in Oklahoma, and you're on your way to Michigan, and a shelter finds it, they'll scan it and they will still be able to find you.”
Once microchipped, the pet and pet owners’ information is placed in a database. Not only will the microchip help reunite pet owners with their furry animals, its main goal: to ensure animal and human safety by making sure the pet has been vaccinated for rabies.
And for those who choose not to microchip their pets, health officials say they could face a $100 fine.
Armando Ramirez, a Northside resident, says this about the added expense:
“It’s an expense for individuals that maybe have 1,2,3 pets in their home and that could be a little costly for people with fixed incomes.”
In an effort to make sure all pets are microchipped, beginning the first week of July, the Animal Shelter, Health Department and participating veterinarians and pet stores will only be charging $5 to have your pet microchipped.
The ordinance goes into effect in July, but there is a one-year grace period, meaning citations will not be given out until August of 2011.