CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Kingsville's Health Department introduced an ordinance that would reduce the at-large pet population to Kingsville City Commissioners Monday evening. That ordinance mandates pet owners to spay and neuter their dog or cat within thirty days of impoundment.
"We're no different than any other town or city in Texas that has an issue with dogs running loose or running at large, and yes, it's detrimental to people trying to enjoy their afternoon or early mornings," City of Kingsville's Health Director Emilio Garcia said.
Garcia said the ordinance was created as a result of that problem. The pet owner will have to pay for the spay and neuter appointment if their animal is impounded. If a pet owner does not spay and neuter their pet after impoundment, they would get a citation with a fee and have to make a court appearance.
"It could have a chilling effect on people with limited means that have their animal picked up, whether or not they’ll go get it. We don’t want to be a kill zone. We want people to rescue their dogs and cats," Mayor of Kingsville Sam Fugate said.
Local veterinarian Dr. Christine Mesecher said she thinks the ordinance is a good idea but could see how it could raise concerns for some of her clients.
"You know how people feel about putting their dog under anesthesia and the actual surgery part because we relate it to surgery as humans. As humans, we may have a difficult time recovering from those surgeries, but pets recover pretty quickly. Those surgeries are pretty simple, and we do them every day," Dr. Mesecher said.
If the ordinance passes, the Kingsville Animal Medical Clinic will be ready and prepared.
"To help with the influx of a lot of extra spayed and neutered, we can schedule appointments if we need to and help however we can," Dr. Mesecher said.
Kingsville City Commissioners will vote on the ordinance on Monday, August 14. If that ordinance passes, it should take effect by late summer. Those who need appointments can visit https://www.animalmedical.us.