Juniper the kitten is available for adoption now from San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Hayes
February is Spay & Neuter Awareness Month
In its continued efforts to help control pet overpopulation, Hays County Commissioners Court proclaimed February as Spay & Neuter Awareness Month. This coincides with World Spay Day on February 23, created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 (originally called Spay Day USA). The day is recognized in nearly 70 countries worldwide.
According to Sharri Boyett, the volunteer Animal Advocacy Advisor and Community Liaison of Hays County, in FY 2020, the regional animal shelter in San Marcos took in 4,242 animals, which was a 10.7 percent decrease from 4,751 in FY 2019. In FY 2020, 1,368 animals were adopted, representing a 6.4 percent increase from FY 2019.
During a recent Commissioners Court meeting, Boyett thanked the court members for their continued support and leadership.
“By bringing attention to these issues, you show you care about cats and dogs at risk of being homeless, abandoned, stray, and those impounded to the regional animal shelter,” she said.
Hays County Judge Becerra encouraged all Hays County residents to continue helping to minimize the number of homeless cats and dogs impounded by the shelter each year by spaying/neutering their pets, sponsoring spays/neuters, and donating to local animal welfare organizations. Integral to the Hays County No-Kill Initiative, the Commissioners Court endorses Spay and Neuter of pets and Trap-Neuter-Return of free-roaming community cats.
“We will do our part by supporting lifesaving animal services,” Judge Becerra said. “We want to do everything possible to implement the best practices for our community.”
Dr. Barbara Hodges, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Director of Advocacy and Outreach said, “Spaying and neutering remain the most reliable and effective means of preventing the unwanted reproduction of cats and dogs, decreasing pet overpopulation, and reducing euthanasia of pets in shelters. There are also individual health benefits, including a reduced risk of certain cancers for certain animals.”
Lauren Loney, Texas State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, and a Hays County native, spoke during the Commissioners Court meeting.
“This proclamation is an opportunity to remind Texans that spaying and neutering their pets saves lives and will help reduce animal homelessness and euthanasia here in Hays County,” she said. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Hays County Commissioners Court for declaring this month Spay/Neuter Awareness month in honor of World Spay Day.”
She added that the overpopulation of dogs, cats and other animals is a staggering issue here in Texas. Loney commended those working to raise awareness of the benefits of spaying and neutering pets.
“It’s gratifying to see the caring advocates in my home county,” she said.