Our View: Education, spay and neutering program key to solving shelter woes
Jun 30, 2013 | 564 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With overcrowded shelters garnering headlines and unwanted animals wandering the streets, there is no doubt that Walker County has a large population of stray animals. We believe that the best solution for local stray animals is better education and greater access to cost-efficient spay and neuter programs.

Certain areas of the country have had great success with spay and neuter programs, resulting in less crowded shelters. This is the reason many rescue agencies in the South have begun transporting adoptable animals into parts of New York and New England. The stray and shelter overcrowding problems in the area have been diminished by the wide availability of programs to prevent unwanted litters of animals. Some shelters have even reported a shortage of animals available for adoption!

Better education about the benefits of spaying or neutering pets, including behavior benefits and a decreased risk of certain conditions and cancers, could increase the number of animals “fixed” each year.

According to the ASPCA, just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in just six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce 370,000 kittens. These high numbers result in approximately three to four million animals being euthanized each year at shelters across the United State due to a lack of space and resources.

We also believe area veterinarians should examine prices and make spay and neuter surgeries as affordable as possible to assist with reducing the homeless animal population. The high cost of surgery may dissuade owners with limited resources themselves. Those owners who can’t afford the price of surgery also can’t afford the ensuing cost of puppies or kittens, so those pets find themselves dumped at the door of the county’s already overcrowded shelter or abandoned to fend for themselves.

Although proposed legislation in the state government has threatened to shut down programs like the Alabama Spay and Neuter Clinic, the organization is still operating. Once a month, the clinic transports animals from Walker County to the clinic to undergo these important surgeries, and then returns them to their owners. The next transport day will be July 17. Call (205) 956-0012 for more information on the transport.

— Daily Mountain Eagle