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Buda seeks to revamp animal control ordinance

Buda is making it easier for pet owners to register and track their lost pets with the first update of animal control ordinances in five years.

According to Buda Police Chief Bo Kidd, fewer than a hundred pets are currently registered in the city. To boost that number, he proposed changes to include microchipping pets, online pet registration and possibly waiving registration fees this year.

Current animal control ordinances require owners to renew their pet registration each year. That allows lost pets to be located through the registration system but Kidd said he realizes annual renewals can burden pet owners.

“Historically, we’ve not had a large response to registration of animals. People just forget. People might have registered their animal
three years ago, but didn’t think to renew their registration. That isn’t on the average citizen’s agenda,” Kidd said.

He proposed a one-time, lifetime registration which would include microchipping – which is not included in the current animal control ordinance – and said the registration should be a “cost effective, efficient and reliable,” instead of tag-dependent like it is now.

Kidd suggested a $25 fee to microchip pets and a $100 fee if the owner chooses not to. Those proposed fees are being reviewed by the city council.

“The point we’re trying to get across is for people to register their animals, not necessarily raise funds,” Kidd said. “I proposed to suspend fees this year to get as many pets registered as possible and make a public campaign to make owners aware. Our goal now is to make it easier and simpler for the public.”

If an owner chooses to microchip their pet, Kidd proposed developing a user-friendly automated system to remind people when their pet’s vaccinations have expired.

Kidd said the overall goal is to ensure that Buda has an accurate count of pets and that owners are aware of vaccination updates, for the community’s safety.

“We want online submission forms and hope to have an automated user-friendly system, so people won’t even have to come down to the city. The new online system would allow the city to notify pet owners that their pet’s vaccinations have expired,” Kidd said.

“Simplify the process, increase registered animals and easier for the citizens to ensure vaccinations. It made sense to me to get away from an annual registration and just go to a lifetime registration.”

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