Spaying and Neutering Pets Will Help Animal Control –

Spaying and neutering pets will help in animal control

Posted at 12:51 p.m. on Friday, October 14, 2022

Guest columnist
Spaying and neutering your pets?
We’ve all heard it before, “spay and neuter your pets.” But why? Why should we do it? What’s in it for me? Well, it’s not you we’re worried about; it’s the community and the animals. But it’s mostly the community that ends up having to take care of the excessive number of animals we call pets – cats and dogs.

Animals in numbers.
In Carter County, there are so many homeless, abandoned, and lost animals that there aren’t enough resources to manage them. The animal shelter is full and has been full for a few years now. The latest estimate is that nearly 1,500 animals enter the shelter in a year. Do the math, that’s about 29 animals per week. Some are healthy and ready for adoption. Many, however, need recovery time or shelter time. Some are sick and need time to recover, and others are awaiting court decisions and cannot be released. About 80% of animals entering the shelter are from the county and 20% from the city.

Your taxes.
The shelter’s estimated budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year is $465,000. Only about $47,500 (just over 10%) of the budget comes from revenues other than government funding. Therefore, $417,500 is funded by your taxes. According to the MTAS Carter County/Elizabethton Animal Services Study, the share paid per citizen is $8.25.

How to maximize return on investment.
I took the numbers in a different direction and determined that the approximate amount paid per animal by citizens is $278.33. If you reduce the number of animals entering the shelter by 20% to 1,200 per year, the resulting $69.58 in savings could be used to give shelter employees a salary equal to or greater than returning burgers, the animals could get more attention and the shelter could provide more neutering help. Not to mention that the shelter could provide assistance to help citizens who are struggling to keep their pets, thereby keeping them out of the shelter in the first place. And that’s only 300 fewer animals per year!

How can I help you?
First, all you have to do is prevent new litters of puppies and kittens. If you are looking for a new puppy or kitten, there will still be plenty to choose from at the shelter.
• Do not keep males and females unchanged in the same house/yard.
• Pay attention to your neighbours. Do not allow your pets to relieve themselves, except in a fenced area or on a leash. You don’t like strange animals coming onto your property, and others don’t like your animals visiting their property.
• Make sure your fences are secure. There are tricks to keeping jumpers and diggers inside a fence, even for cats.
• Make sure you have an animal on a leash properly in place and have a good grip on the leash.
• Do not discard unwanted animals. Find them a new home or have the courage to ask a veterinarian to humanely euthanize them. Please do not let them starve, dehydrate or be mutilated by a car or wild animal.

It’s yours.
Inevitably, taxes will go up, but they don’t have to go up because there are too many unwanted animals in Carter County. It’s really up to you, the citizens.

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Jennifer R. Strohm