Pets in the City

Jason BoyettComment
Photo by Shannon Richardson for Amarillo Magazine

Photo by Shannon Richardson for Amarillo Magazine

This month I have a fun new, multi-part cover story for Amarillo Magazine's April issue. Titled "Pets in the City," it takes a look at responsible pet ownership from a variety of perspectives—from tending a small flock of urban chickens to maintaining a pet-friendly yard.

A few highlights:

I spoke to Richard Havens, Amarillo's director of Animal Management and Welfare, who used to keep pet arachnids—including an Antilles pinktoe tarantula—and educated me about the municipal code related to chickens, ducks, goats, etc. in the city limits.

I spoke to three families raising backyard farm animals in an urban environment. The Simpson and Stone families have chickens. Lindi Willis has three ducks living in her San Jacinto backyard. The Lee family has chickens and a pot-bellied pig in the Gene Howe neighborhood.

Finally, I interviewed a host of gardening and lawn experts about pet-friendly landscaping, including Jake McWhorter of Amarillo Arborlogical, Warren Reid of Coulter Gardens, Justin Young of High Plains Food Bank, and Ben Thoennes of Grow. Pro tip: Don't leave your dog in a backyard without shade trees. "Go sit in the 95-degree sun for six hours every day and see how you feel,” McWhorter told me.

Read the full issue online here.