UPDATE: Amendment Approved To Fine W.F. Pet Owners For No Shade

Tuesday morning the Wichita Falls City Council approved amending an ordinance regarding the well-being of animals. After a series of complaints, council took action against animal owners who are not properly shading their pets.

On one hot 110 degree day Councilman Michael Smith received a call informing him that a dog was roaming a yard with no adequate shade. He went to check on the animal himself.

"It was a Siberian Husky out in direct sunlight in the afternoon. There was a dog house but you
know the dog house is not the place to go when it's 110," he said.

After seeing that situation and hearing from others that it's happening all across town he felt the need to take action, by amending a city ordinance.  It makes changes to Section 14-381 of the code of ordinances of the city.  It requires owners to have shelter for their animals, like a dog house, but the amendment would now include shade.

"In addition to shelter, natural or artificial shade with adequate ventilation shall be provided to protect the entire animal from direct sunlight at all time of the day," he said.

Dog owners Maddie Fraser and Michial Cox agree with the possible change.  They say they take great care of their dog by providing shelter and shade and believe all pet parents should.

"It's so hot here and it's definitely necessary because they can get overheated," said Fraser.

Michial Cox says his dogs are never outside for more than 15 minutes, but if they are traveling in and out of the doggie door he says his boxers have relief from the sun.

"I've got a huge tree that overshadows my entire yard."

The amendment affects all animals. The fine can not exceed $500. After more than one penalty, Councilman Michael Smith says there is the possibility the animal would be taken from the home.