Did you know about the HEART Ordinance? Stands for Humane and Ethical Animal Rules and Treatments.

It’s important to know these rules for the safety of your pets!

We’ve outlined some of the rules for you:

1. Dogs over the age of six months and cats over the age of five months are required to be altered. Exemptions are granted only in cases due to health issues as documented by your veterinarian. If you do not want to spay or neuter your companion animal, you must purchase an intact animal permit for $150. Citations are being issued to people whose animals are not in compliance with the ordinance. The penalty is up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail as determined by a Metro Court judge.

2. Your pet must be microchipped. If a pet is lost, the microchip will provide information on how to find the owner. The Eastside and Westside Animal Welfare locations provide microchipping services during business hours at a cost of $15 per pet microchip. For seniors 65 years of age or older or qualified low income, the pet microchip is free. In order to receive a microchip, you must bring your pet, have proof of ownership, and personal identification with proof of address, if other than what is on your ID.

3. The ordinance allows Albuquerque residents to own six pets, of which no more than four are dogs.

4. All animals must be licensed if you live within the City limits. The license must be renewed annually.

For more information visit: http://www.cabq.gov/pets/education-resources/heart-ordinance