Copperas Cove is asking to recontract with several local veterinarian clinics in a pet tag issuing program that helps keep track of residents’ animals. Changes will include monthly updates.
The city and veterinarians have worked well together on a tagging program for several years, said Deputy Police Chief Mike Heintzelman.
He said changes to the program, which the City Council approved last week, hopefully won’t change local veterinarians cooperation.
According to city documents, the program allows local veterinarians to issue city pet tags. By issuing the tags, the animal is assigned a number and the owner information is recorded to that number. There is a $3 cost to residents, but the fee is split by the city and the veterinarian clinic.
“They have been doing a great job, and I don’t want to change that,” Heintzelman said. “We want to put everyone on the same sheet of music so we collect it all at the same time.”
The major problem the city has had with the program is veterinarians turning over the fees and tag information at different times, Heintzelman said. This tends to leave the city without information on the animal for several months.
Animal control officers will collect the identifying information and the fees for the tag by the 10th day of every month, city documents stated.
“We also want to get all the identifying information at one time, so that if that a dog or animal is lost, then we give that animal back,” Heintzelman said.
City ordinance requires pets wear the Cove identification tag, so if animal control discovers it at large, they can return it to the owner instead of having to impound it. The city started enrolling veterinarians’ help in issuing the tags about five years ago, Heintzelman said. Since then, the number of issued tags has “skyrocketed.”
The tag is required by ordinance. Residents who don’t use local vets’ services should obtain a tag at the Copperas Cove Animal Control Facility, 1601 N. First St.