24,000 dogs and 18,000 cats (not counting feral colonies) in Hunt County and only 2 animal shelters with NO county animal control available
Let me just say it, in case you don't realize it… there is a pet overpopulation in our area. It doesn’t affect everyone, as there are people that have no concern for animal welfare. Others are only affected when stray dogs or cats show up at their home. Rescue groups and other animal lovers have a huge concern as they try to save them either from death on the streets or death at the animal shelter. These people are also concerned about the well-being of strays on the streets and pets not being properly cared for. Unfortunately, there are not enough rescues in the area to save or help all of them.
Hunt County, Texas has a population of almost 100,000 people.
Using the formulas from The American Veterinary Medical Association website (avma.org), we can calculate there are 24,000 dogs and18,000 cats (this does not include feral colonies). Located in Hunt County, there are only 2 animal shelters (Greenville and Commerce) with both being classified as “kill shelters”. This means they euthanize for space and some medical conditions (instead of treating them). According to the Greenville Animal Shelter data for the last two years, the number of owner surrenders (pet owners relinquishing their dog/cat to the shelter) is twice that of the number of dogs/cats picked up by the animal control officers. That is a HUGE red flag! AND, if you are a Facebook user, you can see HUNDREDS of dogs/cats being given away for free there. Why are the owners not keeping their pets? What needs to be addressed to change that? This is just one of the areas that Hunt County Pets Alive is looking into. Public education regarding being a responsible pet owner, proper pet care, and resources available to them is one part of the solution. Pets must be spayed or neutered to reduce the number of dogs/cats in our area to have any impact on reducing the numbers. It is unbelievable at the number of pets that have not been fixed and the number of owners who refuse to get it done.
There are plenty of available low cost spay/neuter clinics in our area that charge very reasonable prices for their services. Some even go a step further and offer financial assistance to help pet owners that are in need. Individuals often offer to pay for these expenses, just to do what they can to help make a difference. And still, you will find free puppies and kittens. Those that don't find homes will find themselves more times than not, dumped out some where. Often they are tragically killed by predators or by motorists. Some are lucky enough to end up at one of the shelters, only to find themselves now sick from exposure to the elements associated with the housing of animals all in one area. When the shelters are full with no available cages or kennels, animals are euthanized to reduce the number of animals there. This madness continues to repeat itself.... there are some end solutions, but I'll share that another day.