ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Pet owners who let their pets out may soon have to keep a closer eye on their furry friends.
A proposed ordinance regarding the mandated spay and neuter of animals was presented by the Animal Control Advisory Board. But it didn't sit too well with some city council members.
"I think it's infringing on people's rights," said city councilman Michael Gardner. "To say that no matter what, you're gonna have your pet spayed and neutered. I had a little problem with that in the first part of the ordinance."
But now, a new ordinance may pass after an alternative was presented to the city council on Tuesday.
"It spurred from the overpopulation at the shelter and how it started to become a big issue," said assistant city attorney Vanessa Ramirez.
The new rule would give pet owners the responsibility to keep a better eye on their pets. If not, consequences can occur.
"This puts a new responsibility in the ownership responsibility over pet owners," said Ramirez. "Making sure they keep their animals on a leash or behind a secured fence so they're not found at large. Now the consequence is it's a mandated spay and neuter."
If pets are not looked after and escape, they will be taken to the animal shelter where they will be spayed and neutered before they are reclaimed by their rightful owner. Because of this new alternative, city council members are now in favor.
"I don't think that's too intrusive," said Gardner. "I think that's a pretty good rule. We do have a problem, animals roaming around and somebody needs to be held responsible for that."
Other provisions were added to the ordinance including mandatory micro-chipping, providing proper shelter, food and water for pets outside and proper requirements for owners who decide to sell animals within the city.
"We looked at everything we could possible think of and the effects it would have," said Ramirez. "We think it would be a good idea for the city."