City announces mobile spay/neuter clinic, mandatory pet registration

Bob Barker says it best at the end of every show of the “Price is Right”‘help control the pet population and have your pets spayed or neutered. The animal control issue in McCulloch County is reaching epidemic proportions. Couple a local animal population that is growing exponentially with years of general lack of animal code enforcement, and small concerns have grown into a sizeable problem that has the general public concerned for the health and safety of not only the people, but for the animals as well. Sue Hall, an animal lover at heart, just happens to be the wife of Brady building inspector, Ronnie Hall. Her love for animals and her concern for her community has prompted her to look for alternative answers to the growing pet population. The best and only sure solution for long term results’having pets spayed or neutered. Sterilizing dogs and cats is the only surefire solution to lowering the number of animals that are loose and running amok in neighborhoods. Uncontrolled breeding is the basis for most animal control issues. By comparison, each day 10,000 humans are born in the United States, and each day, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. The simple fact is that there will never be enough homes for all the animals born and as a result, millions of healthy, loving cats, dogs, kittens and puppies face early deaths as a form of animal control. Others are left to fend for themselves against automobiles, the elements, other animals and cruel humans. In only six years, if one female dog and her mate and all of their puppies and their puppies’ puppies reproduce, one pair could produce 67,000 offspring ‘in only six years. One of the major reasons animals are not spayed or neutered is cost. Many people are not willing to commit to the financial responsibility of owning a pet, which includes sterilization of their pets. A possible solution that has become available to Brady and McCulloch County is a mobile sterilization clinic that will offer animal sterilization at reduced and possibly no cost. The company has been contacted and will be in Brady for its initial visit May 22-24. EmanciPet Inc. is an Austin-based 501(c)(3) tax- exempt non-profit organization. The company is dedicated to the emancipation of pets from euthanasia and overpopulation through the provision of low-cost or free, easily accessible surgical sterilization of dogs and cats. There is not a local requirement for pet owners to sterilize their animals so therefore, most go without. The result, uncontrolled breeding. EmanciPet is a firm that has a possible solution to this problem. Dr. Ellen Jefferson created EmanciPet mobile spay/ neuter clinic in 1999 after years of volunteering at local shelters and acting as a foster location. EmanciPet was founded to be a high volume spay/ neuter clinic that could reach many different populations by being mobile. Since 1999, over 35,000 animals have been sterilized within the mobile hospital alone. Areas served by EmanciPet include the City of Austin, Lago Vista, Bastrop, Lockhart, Marble Falls and many others. In 2005, a stationary facility was donated to EmanciPet by the City of Austin. This clinic as well as the mobile hospital has increased the capabilities of the organization. Two of EmanciPet’s most notable affiliates are the City of Austin and Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. During the three day visit by EmanciPet, the opportunity will be given for the general public to have their pets sterilized at a substantially reduced cost and possibly for no charge at all. In the first steps toward re-enacting the animal control ordinances the City of Brady already has, this mobile clinic will provide not only low cost sterilization, but also rabies shots for animals as well. Brady Mayor James Stewart announced Wednesday intentions to pass an ordinance that all dog and cat owners living within the city limits register their animals with the City of Brady. “This is a step toward providing the city with enforcement options,” said Brady City Manager Merle Taylor. “We are going to work toward implementing the enforcement of these ordinances.” In scheduling the mobile clinic’s visit to Brady, city officials will make it a joint effort to get animal owners in Brady current in their animals’ records. Beginning in the second week of April until Sept.1, pet owners can register their dogs and cats free of charge with the City of Brady. After Sept. 1, fees for sterile and unsterile animals will be assessed. The exact fees have yet to be determined, but preliminary discussions of $2 for sterile animals and $5 for each animal that has not been spayed or neutered have been mentioned. Details of those fees will be forthcoming upon review by the city council. “We are addressing an issue that the public is demanding we tackle head-on,” said Taylor. “By enforcing the animal registration, it will allow, over time, for the city to have more enforcement options when we receive nuisance and animal control calls. “Both the spay and neuter clinic and the free registration are ways that the public can take advantage of opportunities the city is making available for our residents.’ Registering animals will be done at city hall and will begin as early as April 9. Registering animals will be free of charge, until Sept. 1. Proof of current rabies vaccination will be required in order to register all animals. More information on both the upcoming visit of the mobile EmanciPet lab and also on the registration of animals in the City of Brady will be forthcoming in subsequent articles as well as on local radio stations.

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