NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A month-long free spay neuter initiative in February was described by the Nacogdoches County Humane Society as a remarkable success.
The results went far beyond the expectations.
A stack of approved applications allowing Nacogdoches County pet owners to have their dogs and cats sterilized for free rapidly piled up during the February Valentine's special.
"One Thousand, one hundred-ninety-nine animals are scheduled to be spayed or neutered and many are already have been," said Judy Patch, the director of the Nacogdoches County Humane Society. The vets are booked up into May."
Veterinarians will be paid for their services thanks to a sizeable monetary donation to the Humane Society as well as use of the society's emergency reserve money.
"But this has been a great boost to the program because there has been money put in there," said Dr. Mike Ward, one of the participating veterinarians. "We can do a large number and it will make a dent in the population problems."
The awareness campaign addresses the nation's largest animal issue of over population.
"A breeding pair of dogs over a six to seven year period and their offspring can produce over 50,000 animals, and with cats it's upward of 100,000 animals for a breeding pair and all of their offspring," Theresa Jordan said.
Humane Society leaders are now looking for financial backers so the free services can continue periodically on a smaller, but significant scale.
"We'll concentrate on communities that wish to partner with us," said John Anderson, a Nacogdoches Humane Society Board member.
In addition, the Humane Society wants to build relationships with entities and individuals who can influence the enforcement of animal control laws and animal welfare education.
"Police department, sheriff's department, individuals, the university itself in dealing with their students," Anderson said.
The number of spays and neuters about to happen is remarkable, but it's the public's ongoing desire to reduce the unwanted pet population that remains to be the bigger goal.
The Nacogdoches County Humane Society continues to offer to qualified pet owners reduced-rate spay neuter certificates.