Originally published Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 11:53a.m.

WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation Animal Control Program will be launching a public awareness campaign with the Legislative Branch’s “Furball,” a domesticated feline who provides pest control for the Office of the Speaker and will now be the “spokes-kitty” of the program’s initiative to educate the Navajo public on the newly implemented animal ordinances and microchip campaign.

In July, the Navajo Nation Council adopted Resolution CJY-64-18, amending several provisions within Title 13 related to Animal Control Laws on the Navajo Nation. The provisions were amended to protect the health, safety, and property of people and animals, to address responsible pet ownership, to decrease overpopulation, to prevent disease and neglect of animals, to promote spay and neuter clinics, and to encourage adoption of shelter animals.

The kickoff for the campaign was held Oct. 30 at the Office of the Speaker in Window Rock. The public was invited to attend the launch and meet “Furball,” also known as “Legislative Kitty.”

The Animal Control Program was on site and with new ordinance booklets available, provided information on their services and answered questions that the public had regarding pet ownership and adoption.

The program also introduced its microchip campaign, in which the new ordinance states that all pets will need to have a Navajo Nation Animal License to obtain a free microchip. The free microchip campaign began Oct. 3 and ends April 30, 2019.

“The Animal Cruelty Section was moved into the Title 17 Navajo Nation Criminal Code, making it an actual punishable crime,” said Glenda Davis, program manager for the Animal Control Program. “The Navajo Nation will no longer tolerate animal cruelty, molesting, neglect, abandonment, animal fighting and animal hoarding.”

Speaker for the 23rd Navajo Nation Council LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, T’iis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) said the Legislative Branch is more than happy to aid in the public awareness campaign and said “Furball” is the ideal candidate to advocate for the initiative.

“Our Legislative Kitty, Furball, has been an asset to our office and keeps our space clean and free from pests and rodents. She’s also a pleasure to have in our office and we couldn’t be more excited that she is a part of this launch,” said Speaker LoRenzo Bates, adding “We must also comply with the new animal laws and we encourage the public to be educated on the new ordinances as well.”

Information provided by the Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker

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