Spay and neuter neglect considered leading cause of full animal rescues, shelters

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Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Animal rescues and shelters around East Texas are full, but there is hope for change on the horizon.

“We have way too many strays and owner surrenders,” Gwen Coyle, owner of Angel Paw Advocates says. “People aren’t spaying and neutering their animals, and we’re seeing the effects of that.”

Coyle says all of the rescues and shelters are overwhelmed. She says northern states have spay and neuter laws which keep their animal rescues running efficiently.

As a way to ease the struggle in East Texas, they take in animals, fully vet them, socialize them, and put them on a transport to rescues up north that will help get the animals adopted.

However, with the increase in abandoned animals in Texas, the northern rescues aren’t able to take in as many as they once were.

“We’re not able to move as many animals as we used to,” says Coyle. “We’re moving as many animals in a month as we used to move in a week.”

Coyle says they moved about one hundred animals this month, and nearly double that last year.

Currently, Texas does not have any laws enforcing pet owners to spay or neuter their animals.

Owner of Spence Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Gary Spence, says that from a veterinary perspective, he believes spay and neuter has to be enforced, even on a county level.

“We see all the aftereffects of the non-spay and neuters,” Spence says. “We see all the hit by cars, we see abandoned animals, we see the chained-up animals, we see all the hurt animals, because people don’t spay and neuter.”

Spence says spay and neuter is the most important responsibility of pet ownership. He says the cost ranges from $100 to $300 to have an animal spayed or neutered and encourages people to shop around.

Coyle says in addition to spaying and neutering your pets, there is something else people can do to help the rescues.

“If you can foster the animal, that would be a huge benefit — foster for your favorite rescue, whatever it may be,” Coyle says.

All rescues spay and neuter animals before being adopted or fostered.

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