On Monday, Oct. 21, our City Council voted to approve the new Animal and Fowl ordinance. Mayor Hill, Councilman Strength, Councilman Beatty and Councilwoman Shipley voted for the new ordinance.

Councilwoman Olson voted against the new ordinance, in part because she did not feel that it was right for our city to mandate micro-chipping all dogs as required in the new ordinance.

Contrary to what the dog micro-chipping industry tells us — that micro-chipping is completely safe — in-depth research from medical professionals reveals that the procedure comes with some risks. Micro-chipping requires the implantation of a foreign object underneath the skin of a dog. There are always risks and complications that come with foreign object implantations. In-depth research on the risk of micro-chipping conducted by Dogs Naturally Magazine finds that the risks include tumors, neurological damage, infections, death and other complications.   

Dr. Becker of Healthy Pets provides some great advice to dog owners regarding micro-chipping. She says, “Needless to say, it’s important to realize that implanting any foreign material into your pet’s body is a risk. So if you believe that your pet is safe in your home, such as an indoor housecat or a dog that’s appropriately trained (which in my opinion would eliminate the need for chips!) or pets that are always kept on a leash outdoors — and most importantly, is a dog that knows his name and comes when he’s called — there’s a very good chance that you do not need a microchip. And in these cases, the risks do outweigh the benefit.”

Mandating micro-chipping for dogs as required in the new ordinance takes away our right to make this choice and can be expected to hurt dogs. What will happen when an individual dog does get hurt by this mandate? With the dog owner seek restitution from the city? After all, dogs have rights as granted to them by the people of the great state of Texas, and dog owners have rights too.    

I have asked our animal control personnel and our City Council to reconsider this requirement. The new ordinance also includes the current one-year rabies vaccination regimen. I also asked our City Council to go to the three-year regimen for rabies vaccinations. Going to a three-year regimen will make it easier for us to vaccinate our dogs, and we can, therefore, expect better coverage results without any decrease in efficacy. I hope our City Council will stand for reason and help us protect our dogs.

Paul Christenson, Waxahachie