Buttercup the pig sticks close to owner Gabriela Rodriguez, 8, during the Moody Cotton Fest’s Pet Parade in downtown Moody on Sept. 27, 2014. 

Miniature pigs need lots and lots of space.

The municipal ordinance Temple has regarding miniature pigs requires they be housed on properties with at least 10 acres.

This rule is one that most likely will remain unchanged in the city’s review of the “Animal and Fowl” ordinance. The review comes as the city is trying to determine which ordinances can be changed, eliminated or updated.

In April, the city surveyed residents about what changes they wanted to see in the city’s laws regarding animals.

“After the amendments are adopted, they will be posted on the city’s website within a few days of adoption,” City Attorney Kayla Landeros said. “We will also probably make some additional announcements on the website and on the city’s Facebook page to make people aware of those changes. We have a little more work, as staff, to come up with educational materials that we might hand out in other ways.”

Local dogs and their owners were the main subject of most of the changes to the ordinance this year.

One of the biggest changes the city proposed for the ordinance had to deal with the city’s feral cat population, and people who put out food and water for them.

These changes, which now have been pulled out of the ordinance, would have required those feeding feral cats to have them sterilized, vaccinated and recorded with the city.

After last month’s workshop, during which revisions to the ordinance were discussed, Landeros and other city officials decided to scrap the proposed feral cat rules. After discussions with animal control representatives and city staff, officials came to the conclusion the feral cat proposal was not easily enforceable.

“There were concerns about the difficulty of enforcing those (feral cat) regulations, so that is one of the reasons that we are not including it in our final proposal,” Landeros said. “Ultimately, we thought that the feral cat program would be difficult to administer and enforce, and there was another option for citizens who might want more than three cats.”

While this section has been taken out, Landeros cautions that the City Council still has the ability to add the section back in when it comes up for discussion during the next council meeting.

New ordinances regarding leashes and tethers for animals will have a large effect on local residents and will require changes in some residents’ lives. The city will be proposing a rule that would prohibit dog owners from allowing their pets to ride loose in the back of pickups.

This rule also would affect animals not connected by a multi-point tether attached inside convertibles, open Jeeps and trailers.

“My wife is from (Temple) and has lived here her whole life, so we always kind of knew the basic leash laws,” Jeremiah Woods said while walking his 14-year-old Basset hound named Duke. “I don’t really have any problem with any of the rules that I know of that are in effect out here. As long as (the city) is not controlling what kind of dogs (people can have), that is my only concern.”

Pig owners, however, will see no changes despite requests by some residents.

The city’s stance of treating miniature pigs the same as their larger relatives will continue to stand. Those who wish to legally own a pig, miniature or not, in the city must be on at least 10 acres of land zoned as agricultural. Pigs must be in a pen or enclosure at least 500 feet away from any residence.

The final wording for the proposals will be voted on by the City Council during its Thursday meeting. The vote will be the first of two required to approve the revised ordinance. Those who wish to speak on the issue will have time to do so during the public comments section of the meeting.

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