Houston now requires pet owners to microchip pets, bans sale of commercially-bred dogs

(Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Houston City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to amend several ordinances related to Houston-area pet owners and shops.

Part of a rewrite of the city’s Chapter 6 ordinance proposed by BARC, the mandate took effect immediately.

According to BARC, the last time the ordinances were rewritten was in May of 2014.

For pet owners, microchipping will be required along with a city license. Microchipping is a tiny chip similar to a grain of rice that helps humane organizations and veterinarians find stray animals and locate their owners.

BARC said the microchips will expedite the return of lost animals and use microchip numbers as proof of licensing. A metal tag will no longer be issued to newly licensed pets.

The ordinance also prohibits the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores within city limits, unless the animal was sourced from a humane organization or county animal shelter. New pet shop owners must comply with the new ordinance, and existing owners have one year from the day the ordinance was passed to remain compliant.

The new changes come after a state law, the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, went into effect this week. It requires animals to have access to clean drinking water and adequate shelter.

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About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.