DALLAS (CBS11) - Dallas City Council Wednesday voted to mandate microchipping for all dogs and cats and strictly limit breeding.
The tough new laws aim to reduce the number of loose dogs that have plagued South Dallas, but will affect all dog and cat owners within city limits.
Jennifer Duffy said she sees dogs left loose to roam her Oak Cliff neighborhood.
"The people who do do it, do it constantly, you know. It's a normal thing for them," she said.
With her own purebred pit bull on a tight leash, though, she hasn't seen the need to microchip or neuter him.
"I bred his mother, his father, his grandfather," she said.
The new ordinance will require owners who want to breed their dogs and cats to be members of a purebred kennel club, pay $100 per year for a city breeding permit and limit females to one litter a year.
Like all dogs now in Dallas, they'll also have to be microchipped.
"I think it's gonna make it hard for some. I do. It'll be hard for a lot of people," said Duffy.
With the Dallas Animal Services nearly at capacity, making it harder for dogs to breed is, sort of, the point.
In May, the shelter took in nearly 2,400 loose, stray and abandoned dogs.
"One day last week we had 21 puppies that came in – 14 from one litter, seven from another," said Major Barbara Hobbs, who currently oversees the department. "We're trying to allow breeding, but to restrict it from backyard breeders who are just trying to sell puppies in the parking lot of Walmart."
Hobbs hopes mandatory microchips will help get lost dogs out of the shelter and back home more quickly, while also encouraging more responsible pet ownership.
"The pet is registered to you. You can't say 'Oh no, that's not my dog 'cause the chip comes back to you, right?" she said.
Chad Cunningham's newly adopted dog was microchipped, neutered and ready to walk out the door.
"I just couldn't leave him here," he said.
He doesn't have a problem with the new requirements. Seeing so many dogs without a home is difficult.
"It's bad 'cause you know some of these won't get adopted," said Cunningham.
The city will offer a grace period for the next month or two, so people can come into compliance.
Pet owners in 23 zip codes qualify for free microchipping and spay/neuter surgeries.
Any Dallas resident can get their pet microchipped for $15.
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