WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It’s been ten years since the Wichita Falls animal ordinance received a full revision and over two months since the idea was first brought up to update it.
After weeks of public comment and stakeholder meetings, the Public Health District presented a final version of the ordinance to be discussed at city council this morning.
“We have a right to regulate and I think we have a responsibility to regulate the animal population within our city," said Wichita Falls mayor Stephen Santellana, “if you don’t do some sort of regulation then things just run the gamut.”
Lou Kreidler, the director of health for the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District, added, “what we want in the end is what’s best for the animal and for those individuals to be in compliance.”
The floor was yet again opened for public comment, with some praising the ordinance’s heavier regulations, and others not, concerned primarily over two main sections: the requirement to tag and document all livestock; and that dogs cannot freely sit in the back of a flat-bed or pick-up truck.
“I mean, what’s next? We’re going to do an ordinance that says you have to put the dog in a harness and put it in a seat belt like you do kids?” remarked Wichita Falls resident Larry Robinson.
As a farmer himself, Robinson also pointed out the problems, logistically, with trying to tag every head of livestock a person owns.
“You should be getting rid of ordinances instead of making new ones,” said Robinson.
“It’s not just pet owners. It’s people that own cattle. It’s people that are making a living off of stuff. So lots of times it’s the left and the right, wanting less regulation or more regulation," added Santellana.
Councilors then decided that more research and discussion needed to be had regarding the livestock portion of the ordinance before it can be presented to council for a final vote.
Mayor Santellana confirmed that the ordinance will be voted on at the next council meeting on October 15th. He said it is possible to approve the ordinance without the livestock portion.