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July 17th, 2009
Board to bring back microchip question

Hundreds of citizens turned out to City Hall in March, after the San Marcos City Council passed an animal control ordinance mandating microchip registration for pet dogs and cats. The city’s animal services advisory board wants to re-visit the question for limited cases. Photo by Andy Sevilla.


The pet microchipping debate, which brought dozens of protesters to San Marcos City Hall early this year, could be on its way back.

The city’s animal services advisory board will hold a public hearing on July 22 to receive comments about limited microchipping of impounded animals and restrictions on certain animal sales in San Marcos.

The public is invited to offer opinions about a proposal being considered by the animal services advisory board to require microchipping of dogs and cats if they are impounded for a second time at the city animal shelter. The proposal would apply only to animals that have been picked up a second time by animal control before they are released back to their owners.

The board meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. The hearing is set for 6 p.m. in Room 1 at the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 East Hopkins Street.

After the San Marcos City Council passed a new animal control ordinance mandating microchip registrations for pet dogs and cats more than four months old last December, citizens launched months of opposition.

In March, the council agreed to make microchipping voluntary. The council also loosened provisions in the ordinance that prohibited selling or giving away animals on public or private property and parking lots.

The board also will consider a proposal that would prohibit sales of animals on a roadside, public right-of-way, commercial parking lots and flea markets.

The proposals under consideration would not prohibit the sale or purchase of animals from a person’s private residence, display of animals at a city-sponsored event, or by a licensed commercial animal establishment.

For more information, call the city’s animal services department at (512) 805-2650.

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0 thoughts on “Board to bring back microchip question

  1. With today’s economy and over crowded, understaffed shelters microchips make a lot of sense. The lack of identification is the number one killer in animal shelters. All of my pets are chipped, if one would ever get out by mistake I am confident that I will get them back in a timely manner. They will not become another statistic on the euthanasia list. It saves tax dollars and pet’s lives. But, microchip ONLY the pets you love.

  2. The problem that most people have with mandatory RFID implants isn’t that they don’t love their pet, Mary.

    Mandatory chipping is perceived (rightly so) as a slippery slope for any government to head down. If the council had a shred of working gray matter between them, they would incentivize pet chipping by subsidizing either part or all of the chipping cost.

    Even with subsidizing, the overall cost savings are obvious, since chipped pets don’t have to spend nearly as much time in the pound before they’re recovered (or put down).

    By following the method I’ve outlined, they can increase chipping and not infringe on people’s rights (imagined or otherwise).

  3. I agree with Brian. It’s not so much the microchipping that’s the problem, it’s the mandatory aspect. There are reasonable arguments either way, and it should be up to the pet owner to decide, not a government.

    If you actually believe that people who don’t chip their pets don’t love them, do you believe that the city can legislate love?

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