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March 1st, 2010
San Marcos council to finalize microchip ordinance

030110chip5San Marcos residents camped out last spring to overturn a city ordinance making pet microchipping mandatory. The city council will take up a more restricted microchipping ordinance for a second and final reading Tuesday night. File photo.


The San Marcos City Council is bringing back revisions to the city’s animal control ordinance Tuesday night for a second and final reading after unanimously passing a first reading last month.

Under the ordinance, animals that are impounded for a second time must be microchipped before being released back to the owner — but only if the pet owner can’t prove that the animal has been previously microchipped or has any other type of identification.

The microchip identification number would be maintained at the city’s animal services center or with a nationally recognized registry.

The ordinance revisions also call for prohibitions against the offering, selling, trading, bartering, leasing, renting, giving away or displaying of any animal on any roadside, public right of way, commercial parking lot or flea market. However, the ordinance would not prohibit the sale or purchase of animals from private residences. It also doesn’t prohibit the display of animals at city-sponsored events or by properly licensed commercial animal establishments.

After the city council passed a mandatory pet microchipping measure in December 2008, public outcry led the council to rescind the microchipping and animal sales provisions from the ordinance on March 31, 2009, the day before the ordinance was to go into effect.

The city’s animal services advisory board held public hearings on the new provisions in July and August before approving the new proposals in November.

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0 thoughts on “San Marcos council to finalize microchip ordinance

  1. Sigh….here we go again. How many times must our council be soundly defeated in the court of public opinion before they get the message?

  2. Just say NO to mandatory RFID microchipping. Citizens already expressed this very strongly last year. I love technology as much as anybody (my last job before moving to San Marcos was working with an RFID consultancy, of all things). But the government should not be in the business of forcing RFID chips into our pets. Sigh, I’ll need to dig up all the various reasons that were articulated last year, and bring a few to the citizen’s comment period at city council meeting this evening. I hope a LOT of people show up to remind city council we already said NO to any kind of mandatory RFID microchipping.

  3. I am not offended by the revised ordinance and I feel there is a big difference between the revised ordinance and the one the citizens rejected last time — this ordinance appears to only apply to a dog that has been to the pound two or more times. Irresponsible pet owners cost taxpayers a lot of money, and RFID may have some potential to put this burden back on the pet owner. The last ordinance would force citizens to put a RFID chip in their dog and pay for it even if the dog never left their property or control — it was more intrusive.

    I am sure the contingent who felt RFID was animal cruelty will still protest the revised version, but they were only a portion of those who spoke out against the prior ordinance.

  4. The revised ordinance isn’t better, just not quite as bad. Part of the problem is there has been little, if any, debate on the proposal and even tonight, unless the item is pulled from the consent agenda there won’t be any debate, period. Also consider the fact that many people tonight are either working the election polls, attending precinct conventions, or various other post-election activities that most likely won’t end until after the meeting tonight.

    Postpone the proposal, let the public weigh in.

  5. Mr. Spell hit the nail on the head. Why stash a controversial agenda item on the consent agenda? While I have no problem with individual pet owners chipping their animals, and actually have no problem with an animal being chipped after its second trip to the pound; it’s the attempt to remove the issue from discussion that offends me. As well as the fact that a great many politically active people will be involved elsewhere.

  6. I’m still baffled that they would enact legislation that bans the sale of pets in private (commercial) parking lots. I grant they have the right to ban such sales along public roadways, but on PRIVATE PROPERTY????

    If Wal Mart doesn’t have a problem with people selling puppies in their parking lot, why does the City? That’s gestapo thinking at its worst……

  7. Sigh, again? we are paying for this discussion? Private citizens have already expressed concern. Ok and who gives them the right to tell Walmart, PETSMART, Prevent a Litter (PALS), or my business we cannot try to help find strays or neglected animals a home!

  8. Please do not force RFID microchips onto our pets. Why the repeated attempts to require implanting chips into pets, especially if the main goal is to speed up the return of those pets to repeat offenders? If we have a lot of “repeat offender” issues, it is the owners that need inducements to behave properly.

    It sounds like the real problem is abandoned pets. If only 12% of the collected pets are reclaimed, doesn’t that mean the other 88% of these pets had owners who didn’t care enough to come get them? Seems like those pets were abandoned, and the answer then is not mandatory chipping.

    If the pet is picked up twice and taken to the pound, then the owner should pay a fine to retrieve their pet. That would induce them to keep better control of their pet in the future.

  9. Several citizens commented about this subject. All of them were against any mandatory RFID microchipping of our pets. However, our City Council decided to unanimously approve the ordinance this evening. I thought it was interesting that several council members stated it was not mandatory chipping. Well, that’s quite a stretch to make that position, since now on the 2nd pickup, it is mandatory to RFID microchip the pet. Again, the problem is irresponsible pet owners who abandon their pets, so for them this ordinance means nothing. Statistics say they’re never going to come pick up their pet.

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