In Fort Smith a new proposal would likely help the city reduce it’s pet population, but the plan’s options are drastically different.
Some say the city is experiencing an animal overpopulation problem and a committee has come together with a solution for this, although not everyone is happy about the fix for the city and for their pets
“The pet over population problem is rampant,” said Hope Humane Society member Raina Rodgers.
The Animal Services Advisory Board is proposing a new license ordinance that would cost pet owners $500 a year if they don’t spay or neuter their pet, and only $10 a year if their pets are fixed. Both options would also require mandatory micro chipping.
“It might not be something that is at the forefront of their mind, unfortunately we deal with it every single day,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said Fort Smith is looking at cities like Rogers, which has a similar ordinance that has help control the population.
“I’m glad that the city is taking a look at it and that they are willing to help us with that problem,” Rodgers said.
A problem for many like pet owner and college student Lilly Phommachanh, who said this could impact her finances as her dog is unaltered.
“Not everyone has those emergency funds to just out of the blue pay a fine if your pet isn’t neutered,” Phommachanh said.
Phommachanh said although she is responsible with her pet, she understands why it has become an issue.
“I know that it is a problem because im in a group that talks about lost and stolen dogs. My dog is my child and that goes for everyone else too,” Phommachanh said.
A solution some call “spay or pay” that could help the animal shelter population in just a few years
“That’s to safe guard against over population in anyway that we can.” Rodgers said.