To the Editor:

I’d like to ask Harker Heights residents to please come to the Harker Heights City Council meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday to show your support for requiring mandatory microchipping and spay/neuter for all animals residing in our city limits.

Our animal shelter is overflowing with homeless pets and our streets are filled with abandoned and starving cats and dogs. We have an urgent need for our city leaders to begin the vetting process NOW to implement these new ordinances.

The current proposal placed on the agenda is very similar to the recently adopted ordinance in Killeen, and the intent is to reduce the amount of stray and abandoned animals that fill our shelters and wander our streets. The proposed ordinance requires that:

1. All animals over 4 months of age residing within city limits be microchipped and spayed or neutered.

2. Residents can apply for an exemption for their pet for the microchip, spay or neuter procedure if a letter from their veterinarian states that the procedure presents a danger to the animal’s health.

3. Breeders can apply for a license allowing for two litters a year per animal, and are limited to one license a year.

4. Exemptions may also be granted for animals trained for official rescue or police work.

Our shelter is already bursting with unwanted animals, and we are not a no-kill shelter. Since converting a proposal into an ordinance is a lengthy process, please help me to urge our city officials to begin this process today, rather than doing nothing as the situation worsens and the suffering mounts.

If you support the proposal, have concerns about the proposal, or are opposed to it, I urge you to attend the meeting on Tuesday.

R. Murphy

Harker Heights

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