Laguna Vista CARES ‘About Its Pets’: Town launches animal welfare project

LAGUNA VISTA — Laguna Vista has a habit of caring for its community.

They care about the community and even the pets that reside here.

In keeping with their “caring” endeavors, this idyllic bayside town has launched a new program to instill good qualities in pet owners and in pets.

Laguna Vista will be conducting a month-long initiative titled Laguna Vista CARES “About Its Pets” to be held during March to raise awareness about pets and to educate the local residents on the importance of being responsible pet owners.

Town officials will also be using the initiative to encourage pet owners to spay, neuter, collar/ID and microchip their pets.

This initiative stems from an elevated incidence of loose or unleashed dogs.

“We know most of these dogs have owners,” said City Manager Rolando Vela.

To prevent undue harm to the animals and sorrow for the owner, owners are encouraged to be more responsible with their pets.

The above mentioned actions are more than likely to prevent incidents of lost or stolen and unwanted pregnancies leading to a high number of possible strays in the area, town officials say.

Animals that have been lost have been found by the local police department who then use social media to alert the public. Luckily, those animals’ owners were located.

Some are not so lucky.

Vela reminds pet owners there are certain rules they are required to follow.

The owner of a dog, cat or other animal is required to provide shelter from heat, cold, rain or other conditions that could be harmful to the animal.

“Animals also must be provided with adequate food and drink to maintain them in good health. It is the pet owner’s responsibility to ensure that the animal is not treated in a cruel or inhumane manner,” Vela said.

Town officials also encourage owners to keep their pets from running freely.

Pet owners must follow the guidelines outlined by Laguna Vista.

Pets should be leashed, well behaved and cleaned up after. Otherwise pets will be considered a nuisance.

Vela said the town will continue to actively enforce these guidelines.

“We expect pet owners to be responsible citizens of our community,” Vela said.

Need to know

It is unlawful for any person or persons owning or controlling a dog, cat or other animal to permit the animal to run at large. When in public all animals must be leashed.

On private property, animals must be leashed and under the control of a competent person or confined in such a manner as to prevent them from straying from the premises.

Owners are encouraged to prevent their animal from becoming what town officials call a “public nuisance.”

Chasing cars, attacking other animals, damaging private or public property, causing unsanitary or dangerous conditions, barking, whining, howling, or making other loud audible noises in a continuous or untimely manner fall under “public nuisance.”

Pet owners are strongly encouraged to clean up after their animals.

It is unlawful for a pet owner to allow the animal to defecate on any public or private property owned by others unless the custodian of the pet immediately removes all the feces the animal deposits.

Any person walking a pet is required by ordinance to carry on his or her person, a device or container sufficient to clean up after the animal.