TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The Texarkana City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night that would require that pets are spayed or neutered in an effort to control pet populations.

The ordinance requires any impounded pet returned to its owner or adopted from the city must be spayed or neutered within 30 days.

There are a few exceptions. If the pet is younger than six months old, a veterinarian states that sterilization would be harmful to the animal’s health or if the owner has a permit to keep the dog intact.

“We have several dogs, especially that we get every week that is running at large, and if they are running at large, it drastically increases the chances that they will reproduce,” Texarkana Director of Inspections & Code Enforcement Mashell Daniel said.

The city ordinance is effective immediately.