An update to Kyle’s existing animal control ordinance now allows for private individuals to borrow cage traps to capture small nuisance animals.
The caveat, however, is those who use the traps will be held responsible for ensuring any animals that are trapped are treated humanely, said Kyle Police Department Chief Jeff Barnett.
The ordinance update, which was approved by the Kyle City Council in January, harbors two primary components.
One of those allows for citizens to have easier access to get their pets registered.
With the update, pet owners can register their pets during a routine checkup, rather than applying at the police department. Barnett said several local veterinary clinics offered to participate in the service.
The second component extends to lending out traps. With the update, residents can opt to borrow a trap for a $50 fee. The traps, which must be placed on property owned by the borrower, can capture small animals such as dogs, cats, opossums and raccoons.
Barnett said the reason for the change is because the city’s Animal Control department can only put down and check on a certain number of traps per day.
“She gets calls for loose dogs and all kinds of stuff throughout the day,” Barnett said. “In between those calls for service, she tries to make rounds for traps set the day before.”
Kyle’s two animal control officers, who work on a full-time basis, are sometimes asked to place traps for nuisance animals. Due to the high volume of requests, however, officers at times have had to turn requests down.
However, Barnett said the traps would only be loaned to “responsible adults” who abide by the department’s rules for using the traps.
Those who borrow the devices are required to check them at a minimum of once per day. Residents are also responsible for any animals or wildlife that are captured.
Barnett said a resident would have to contact the proper state agency if they capture a protected species.
“Our traps will be loaned to those who understand the severity and importance of their actions,” Barnett said. “We would certainly only want those who are willing to abide by local laws to use our equipment.”
The department will also check regularly on residents who borrow the traps as well. Barnett said the traps are only used for a short-term duration and will not be loaned out “for months on end.”
The reason is the lack of traps the department currently has. Each trap costs anywhere from $50 to $200.
“Our Animal Control officers are certainly willing to help and educate someone who desires to use a trap on their property,” Barnett said. “We want them to operate in the law as well.”