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City Services

Animal Ordinances Information

(See this page en español.)

Dr. Ovidiu Craciun,
Animal Birth Control Clinic, Waco

Spay, Neuter & Microchip:

*It's the law!

Effective January 1, 2014. Allowed exceptions listed below.

  • Ordinance applies only to dogs and cats over four months of age.
  • Owned dogs & cats: In addition to state-mandatory rabies vaccination, owned dogs and cats must be spayed/neutered & microchipped.
  • Community cats: In addition to the state-mandatory rabies vaccination, outside cats, both owned and unowned, must be spayed or neutered. No microchip required for community cats with the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) left ear tip, performed during spay/neuter surgery.

    Exceptions to Ordinance:

    • Breeders: Breeder pets must be microchipped, and must also have a veterinarian-issued Health Statement issued at least once every two years that must include the pet's microchip number.
      • Each puppy or kitten in a litter must be microchipped by four months of age and have a vet-issued Health Statement prior to sale or transfer.
      • Breeder must have this information available upon request by law enforcement or animal control. It is the new owner’s responsibility to obtain these documents from their Breeder during the sale or transfer of the animal.
    • Sample Health Statement

    • Medical: A veterinarian can exempt a non-breeding pet for medical / health reasons. This exemption must be documented on the pet's medical record. Pet owner must have this information available upon request by law enforcement or animal control.

    Free/ Low-Cost Options &
    Who is Eligible?

    • Residents of the City of Waco may qualify for FREE spay/neuter for owned dogs and cats based on income, location/zip code, and available funding. Call 752-SPAY (7729) for more information.
    • Community Cats (outdoor or outdoor/indoor) located in the 76708 zip code qualify for free Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR includes spay/neuter, Rabies and a left “eartip” performed by a vet during spay/neuter surgery. Loaner TNR traps available with refundable deposit. For more details, visit FreeCatFix.org

    Low-cost spay/neuter options

Microchipping Options:

(Subject to change. Please call first.)

  • When a pet gets a new owner, it is the previous owner’s responsibility to make sure that new owner updates the pet’s microchip owner contact information. This can be done by contacting the microchip company (i.e., HomeAgain, 24PetWatch, Avid, ResQ, etc).
  • Residents may have their pet microchipped at their pet’s full-service veterinarian.
  • Low-cost microchip providers in McLennan County: Humane Society of Central Texas ($20) and Animal Birth Control Clinic ($25).
  • Happy Endings Dog Rescue has low-cost microchips, and chip clinics on the 2nd Saturday of the month ($10).
  • McLennan Area Rescue Coalition (MARC) hosts free microchip clinics approximately once a month.
  • The City of Waco will partner with other organizations to provide free microchip clinics prior to January 1, 2014. Details to come.

Tethering an Animal:

(Sec. 5-123)

  • An animal may not be tethered, chained or fastened in any way that would cause injury or pain.

 

  • Must be able to reach shelter, food and water at all times.

Sale of Animals in a Public Place:

(Sec. 5-131)

  • Animals may NOT be made available for sale, trade, barter, lease, rent, give away or convey the ownership of any animal on any roadside, public right-of-way, commercial parking lot, garage sale, flea market, festival, park, community center or outdoor public place.

Printable Animal Ordinance Informational Handout (English/Spanish)

Alternatives to Surrendering Your Animal

 

See the entire Municipal Code of Ordinances relating to animals in the City of Waco here.

Common Questions>>

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