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New Provision of Pet Ordinance Takes Effect in Mercedes

According to the new ordinance all pets must be wearing a tag at all times and all dogs over 6 months must be implanted with an identifying microchip.. Photo: Ildar Sagdejev/Wikimedia Commons

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Pet owners from the Mercedes area are reminded that a city’s animal control ordinance is being enforced so having cats and dogs is going to be somewhat different than what they used to.

The ruling has been in effect since May 2018 but a section of the ordinance went into effect on January 1.

That is about implanting a microchip on all pets.

However, the city’s public works department is still in the process of getting the devices and will make an announcement when they get them.

The city implemented the ordinance in an attempt to reduce animal bites, decrease the population of strays (domestic) animals, reduce the rampant running of dogs and to provide a better quality of life for all pets.

Remember that many stray animals are put to sleep if no one claims them after a period of time.

Jose Figueroa, the city’s public works director who oversees the animal control office, said failing to comply with the ordinance carries an initial fine of $50.

Under the ordinance, all cats and dogs over the age of 16 weeks must be licensed unless they live within city limits for more than 60 days or in an animal shelter or impoundment facility or in a licensed kennel.

All licenses can only be issued by the public works department and would only be provided to pets with proof of rabies vaccination from a certified veterinarian.

A license costs $10, and there are waivers for animals serving the blind or deaf; or dogs trained for government use.

Another point of the ordinance states a resident, tenant and/or owner can only harbor or oversees a maximum of four dogs over the age of six months old.

Owners of five or more dogs may apply for a kennel license but a commercial zoning is required as well as strict sanitary requirements.

A pet owner is responsible for keeping proper sanitary conditions for the animals, free of accumulated waste, debris, pests, fleas and ticks.

Also, it’s strictly forbidden to use tethering as a primary method of confinement and to transport or carry on any public roadway any animals in a motor vehicle unless the animal is safely secure, according to the ordinance.

For more information, please contact the city’s animal control office at 956- 565-6147.

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