by Lillian Eva Lieske
SPRINGER — Issue number nine on the town of Springer’s agenda for the August 11 was discussion of the town’s animal ordinance. The goal was to clear up rumors of what is in the actual ordinance. This has been a somewhat heated topic plaguing the small town of Springer.
The conversation stems from residential complaints of roosters, feral felines, and dogs running loose without collars and tags. The current ordinance was established in 1985, and has been amended several times. Chair of the committee mayor pro tem Rebecca Ramirez was given the floor to go over and discuss the sections the animal ordinance committee has been working to update. Sections that needed to be amended were read, as were the proposed amendments. Several residents spoke up and expressed concern. One resident stated that when people have these types of animals in town, it causes a problem with wild animals. But other have expressed (nothing specifically said at this meeting) that this would happen anywhere, especially here since it is a rural area with many wild animals near. This would be a problem with dogs and cats as well as poultry.
Many residents are opposed to having domesticated livestock in town, and are frequently at council meetings to express their concerns. It has been suggested that if people want to have these types of animals, then maybe they should move out of Springer to the county or a ranch.
Mayor Boe Lopez asked Ramirez if any of the current trustees have been attending these committee meetings, to which Ramirez responded “no”.
There is also a major push to get residents with pets to get in compliance. That currently hasn’t been happening, mostly because of a lack of money. The town simply doesn’t have the funds to combat the problems of abandoned, running loose with no tags, and feral animals. Nor does the town have the law enforcement to enforce the current ordinance. There have been the suggestions of hiring an animal control officer, but the mayor and council explained again as stated previously the funds just aren’t simply there.
Until the animal ordinance is revised and voted on by council, the issues will keep being a topic of discussion. The ordinance committee, with the guidance of the residential input, will continue to keep working on the ordinance to make sense for the safety of residents and pet owners, and their pets as well. For information on the fee and the actual ordinance and what you need as a resident to be in compliance with, please call or visit town hall.