New ordinance targets Denison pet owners - - Texoma news, weather and sports

New ordinance targets Denison pet owners

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Denison has established new spay and neuter requirements for pets. (KTEN) Denison has established new spay and neuter requirements for pets. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- Last year, a study commissioned by the City of Denison found there were more than 1,500 animals taken into shelters.

That's why Denison is tightening its animal control ordinance with a requirement to spay or neuter pets.

The City Council approved the measure at Monday night's meeting. It requires animal owners to present proof if their pets have been impounded more than once. 

"We do have a high animal population in Denison, so we did feel the need to add ordinances to responsibly control the pet population," said Robert Lay, the city's code compliance manager.

He said pets will be exempt from the spay/neuter ordinance if health concerns make the process too dangerous, or if owners can provide proof that their pets have a registered pedigree. 

Denison Animal Welfare Group president Stephanie Phillips said the ordinance should have the desired effect of reducing the number of impounded or rescued pets, saving money and resources for shelters.

"Spay/neuter is the first step," she said. "We don't want to make things more difficult for anyone; we just want to try and slow down the flow of unwanted pets."

But Phillips looks forward to Denison expanding the parameters of the new ordinance.

"We would like to go further and see that mandatory spay/neuter for everybody, not just for animals that come into the shelter," she said.

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