Hays County urges all residents to help control pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering their pets as the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter faces capacity issues.
The county’s efforts to prevent pet overpopulation come as the Court of Commissioners approved a proclamation recognizing February 2022 as Sterilization/Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, which coincides with World Sterilization Day, launched on 22 February 1995. World Sterilization Day aims to encourage people to save animal lives. neutering and neutering pets and feral cats, according to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.
The commissioners unanimously approve the adoption of the proclamation. Additionally, the Commissioners’ Court previously approved a “No-Kill” initiative with a resolution signed in 2018.
“We’re looking at a nokill shelter and part of the no-kill initiative, the most important part is neutering and neutering,” Hays County-appointed animal advocacy advisor Sherri Boyett said during the interview. Tuesday meeting. “Sterilize and sterilize and TNR (trap, sterilize, return) are the solutions.”
In a news release, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said neutering pets will help reduce the number of animals impounded at SMRAS, which is the only open foster facility serving all Hays County residents and the county pays a portion of the operating costs.
“We are participating in World Sterilization Day to help raise awareness of the need to neuter/neuter to save animal lives,” Becerra said.
Additionally, County Commissioners Debbie Ingalsbe and Lon Shell have both made efforts over the past few years to raise awareness about shelter overcrowding.
“We encourage all Hays County residents to continue to help minimize the number of homeless cats and dogs seized by the shelter each year by spaying/neutering their pets, sponsoring neuters/neuters, and doing donations to local animal welfare organizations,” Ingalsbe said. “All of these things will help the shelter’s resources go a lot further.”
According to the approved proclamation, while 70% of US households own pets, millions of animals are still homeless, living on the streets or housed in shelters. About 6.3 million pets — 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats — enter animal shelters in the United States each year, the proclamation says. Additionally, approximately 88% of pets living in underserved communities are unspayed or neutered, the proclamation says, adding that neutering and neutering initiatives reduce the number of homeless animals, certain life-threatening diseases and curb negative behaviors.
Shell said it advocates for responsible pet ownership and encourages community members to have their pets spayed or neutered.
“By taking proactive steps within our community, we can aim to reduce the number of animals brought to the shelter,” he said. “Neutering is one of the most effective methods of reducing pet overpopulation in Hays County.”
Kelly Arthur, a Hays County animal advocate who is the volunteer leader of Hays County Lost & Found Pets, said abandoned strays are found every day because pet owners cannot afford to repair their pets.
“By providing pet owners with resources for low-cost neutering, we can keep the unwanted animal population out of the animal shelter,” Arthur said.
Boyett shared at Tuesday’s meeting that 4,059 animals were impounded in fiscal year 2021 — 31% from unincorporated areas of the county. She said people who want to keep their pets and are looking for a low-cost neutering resource should visit the Central Texas Pet Prevent A Litter (PALS) website: https://preventalitter.com.
“PALS provides low-cost, free sterilization surgeries to qualified Hays County residents,” Boyett said.
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