City Council: Concerned pet owners speak out against proposed animal ordinance

Several concerned citizens spoke out against the proposed animal ordinance at the Special City Council meeting.

VICTORIA, Texas – On Tuesday, Aug. 31, the Victoria City Council held a special meeting. During their meeting, they continued their open discussion about the animal related city code ordinance.

This proposal included code section 4-32, which limits the number of chickens per household. The proposal also included code section 4-40, which limits the number of dogs and cats owned per household.

Several pet owners feel strongly about the proposed changes.

Mayor Jeff Bauknight informed everyone at the beginning of the meeting that they will have two townhall meetings in September. According to City Communications, the townhall meetings will take place at the Community Center Annex, located at 2905 E. North Street in Victoria. The meetings will be held on Sept. 14 and Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

These townhall meetings will give residents the opportunity to address their concerns before the council rewrites an updated draft of the original ordinance. Animal control officers and the City prosecutor will be available for comments. They will also provide information about the proposed ordinance.

Concerned pet owners speak out during special meeting:

According to Megan Driver, an employer at a saving animals shelter, this affects her emotionally because she considers her pets, her children.

“There’s people out there that can’t even do that and their pets are their children,” Driver said. “So what am I supposed to do? I have six and I’m supposed to love one less and surrender it because the limit is now this? So, I mean that’s extremely unfair to tell someone.”

Julie Fenton, an animal advocate, said she has many pets. According to Fenton, she and her husband have more than enough financial stability to take care of them.

Fenton questioned council by asking, why households, like hers, should feel the need to give up some of their pets, when her pets are very well taken care of?

“Now I have a problem and not even that,” said Fenton. “Animals can’t talk for themselves. We have to be their voice and I’m willing to stand up and be that voice.”

Many animal advocates who attended the special meeting plan to participate in the upcoming townhall meeting.

Mayor Bauknight also pointed out that he’s glad to see a lot of community involvement and engagement on this issue.

You are invited to complete a citizen survey at the City’s website.