Posted by Rita Fisher on June 29, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 12:01 am | Updated: 1:06 am, Fri Jun 28, 2013.

The majority of the people who spoke at Waco’s second public meeting Thursday on a proposed animal ordinance expressed support for the measure.

Representatives from many of the animal organizations in the area, such as Happy Endings Dog Rescue, McLennan Animal Rescue Coalition and the CenTex Kennel Club, spoke about the benefits of having pets microchipped, citing the ease of locating owners of runaway pets.

“We commend the city for what it’s trying to do,” said Donna Sammon, who breeds “shelties,” or Shetland sheepdogs.

Waco City Council is weighing an ordinance that would go into effect Sept. 1.

The ordinance being considered would require all pets to be spayed or neutered and microchipped.

The council is attempting to reduce the number of strays in the area and help Waco become a 
“no-kill” city, with its shelter having less than a 10 percent euthanization rate.

Sammon has been breeding shelties since 1979 and said her main concern with the ordinance is the restriction on dogs per owner unless the owner is a registered breeder with permit.

The new ordinance would require anyone with more than five animals to have them all spayed or neutered.

Sammon said the number of dogs at her home is always fluctuating and she felt a limitation on that number was too restrictive.

Several people expressed concern that many show-dog owners have more than five dogs but don’t breed them, but can’t have them spayed or neutered because of showing requirements.

Assistant City Manager Wiley Stem said the main difference in the ordinance since the first public meeting is that the requirement for breeders to register was removed.

He said animal control will rely on reports of puppy litters or
animals that are not spayed or neutered to assist with the enforcement of finding disreputable breeders.

He said the council has tried to 
consider the needs of responsible pet owners as much as possible with this ordinance.

The first time an officer picks up a dog or cat that falls in compliance with the new ordinance, the officer simply will take the animal straight home.

Every pet who is retrieved with a microchip will be held at the shelter for 
10 days, instead of three, before it is offered up for adoption.

The city now spays or neuters dogs that have been impounded three times.

The new ordinance would require every animal that goes into the shelter to be sterilized and microchipped.

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