LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Winnie Berry Humane Society is hoping to make a significant impact on the number of unwanted pets and lower the euthanasia numbers in Angelina county by offering $5 sterilizations thanks to a new grant.
For the first time ever in Angelina County, a sizeable grant from PetSmart Charities will shine a light on what the animal welfare community is doing to curb the growing unwanted pet population.
Winnie Berry Humane Society, Board of Directors Member, Reece Hubbard says, "We've gotten a grant from PetSmart Charities and it's basically to lower the unwanted pet population in parts of Angelina county and in Lufkin."
The grant allows for Winnie Berry Humane Society to offer $5 sterilizations to nearly 1,000 pets in the 75904 zip code in Lufkin.
"It gives us the opportunity to give a discounted spay/neuter program to the people in zip code 75904," said Hubbard. "In doing this, it actually lowers the euthanization numbers for the county."
The concept is fairly simple, the grant provides funds to sterilize 960 dogs and cats in geo-specific area.
"Every single animal that isn't spayed or neutered in that area to get them all done within a year," said Executive Director of Winnie Berry Humane Society, Paula Divello. "What that does is it wipes out the chance of unwanted pets being born in that area in a very short period of time so it has a direct effect on euthanasia numbers."
And judging by the number of people inundating the humane society to sign up for the $5 spay-neuter program, there is a lot of work to do.
But Director of Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter, Aaron Ramsey, says there's more to it.
"The critical piece to controlling the animal population is educating the public on the importance of spaying/neutering their animals so it's a team effort and all of us working together will definitely make a difference," said Ramsey.
Of course, the ultimate goal for any animal welfare caretakers is to reduce the pet euthanasia numbers, if not eliminate them all together.
"The end goal of any city who continuously tries things like trap-neuter-release, low-income or low-cost geo-targeted spays and neuters is to eventually become no-kill,"said Divello.
So what about if you don't live in zip code 75904, there are other low-cost programs available in the area.
The humane society also receives an annual grant from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation to fund the low-income program.
"The low-income program that we receive from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation is designed for those people who cannot afford to have a surgery and it covers Angelina county and the surrounding areas," said Divello. "If anybody makes $30,000 or less per year, it's $35-$55 for the surgery and we can also include the rabies shot."
This annual grant allows for about 760 low-cost spay neuters.
You can get more information about the $5 sterilizations and low-income spay-neuter program by calling the humane society at: 936-639-1880 or stop by the shelter located at: 1102 N. John Redditt Drive, Lufkin, TX, 75904 during business hours.