A new security camera will soon be installed at Katy’s dog park in an effort to reduce the number of dogs abandoned in the park.

City Administrator Byron Hebert told Katy City Council on Jan. 11 that the city has ordered the camera, which will be installed at the park at 5414 Franz Road, Katy, later this month.

“We cannot allow for animals to get dumped at any of our city parks, and this number was not small,” Katy Police Chief Noe Diaz said during the meeting. “We must stop this practice.”

The camera will be installed Jan. 19, weather permitting, Diaz said, adding that it should have an immediate effect on people who attempt to abandon their pets at the park.

Katy Animal Control Supervisor David Brown told council members that if a dog from the city’s jurisdiction is dumped at the park, the animal can often be returned home. The bigger issue, he said, comes when people drive to Katy from farther away to dump their pet at the park and the city is left to try and track down its owner.

“When that happens, it drains our resources,” he said.

Brown urged residents to register their dogs and keep their microchips up to date to help the city get a handle on stray and abandoned dogs.

Once the camera is installed at the park, the Katy Police Department will operate and monitor it. Officers will be able to get onsite quickly, Diaz said, since the department is based next door.

Though installing the camera is a step in the right direction, Diaz said, community education—such as explaining how to utilize rescues to ensure that anyone who does have to give up their dog can do so safely—is an imperative going forward.

“[The camera] is a great step in the right direction, but it’s only a start,” he said. “Changes must happen on how our animals are treated from top to bottom.”