TOO MANY: Animal groups offer spay/neuter programs to help control strays

Published 9:21 pm Monday, March 11, 2019

Abandoned, abused and neglected animals continue to be a problem all across the United States and are a growing concern here in Pike County.

The problem is being addressed through spay/neuter programs offered by the Humane Society of Pike County (HSPC) and the Pike Animal Shelter in Troy.

The HSPC’s annual spay/neuter program is underway with $15,000 available for the current program through the humane society’s 2019 Pet Photo Contest and calendar sales. Participation in the spay/neuter program is open to Pike County pet owners and Troy University students who own pets.

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Donna Brockmann, HSPC president, said $3,000 has been allocated to each of the five veterinarians who practice in Pike County. The HSPC will pay $50 toward each spay/neuter procedure that is done.

“Pet owners only need to contact the veterinarian of their choice and say they want to participate in the HSPC’s spay/neuter program,” Brockmann said. “An appointment will be set up as along as the funds are available.”

The Pike Animal Shelter is working through the mobile home parks in the county to alleviate the problem of unaltered animals.

“The City of Troy is requiring that pets in the mobile home parks be altered and up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations and that will be a great help,” said Jacqueline Meeks, shelter director. “We have been working the mobile home parks and talking with pet owners about the importance of having their animals altered.”

Meeks said those who need assistance with the expenses of having their pets spayed or neutered are encouraged to call the Pike Animal Shelter at 334-674-2422.

Through donations to the shelter, Meeks said spay/neuter procedures may be done at a cost of $75 to pet owners. The fee also includes a rabies vaccination.

“Medicaid will also pay for alterations of pets at two per Medicaid card,” she said. “So, there are several opportunities for assistance with spay/neuter procedures and pet owners are encouraged to take advantage of them.”

Keeping animals fenced, housed or tethered by an appropriate tie-out lead are also ways to reduce the number of unwanted animals.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are about 70 million stray animals living in the United States. Of the number, only about six to eight million cats and dogs enter shelters every year. That means that, perhaps at best, 62 million animals are homeless are looking for food and shelter each day.

“The only way that number can be significantly reduced is through spay/neuter programs,” Brockmann said.

“We cannot build enough shelters to house them all.”