City should not abolish the sterilization / sterilization voucher program

Karen Patterson is Founder and President of Fix West Texas.

Courtesy photo

Midland’s Spay / Spay Voucher program currently offers residents the option to have their community pets and cats spayed for a price of $ 70. Without the program, many residents simply cannot afford to have their pets neutered and cannot afford to help the city control the community’s cat population. This was the case before COVID-19 and the 2020 oil crisis and continues to be so, as so many people in our community are just getting back on their feet.

While it is true that the cost of the spay / neuter voucher program is borne by the municipal taxpayer, so are the costs of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. The difference is significant: Preventing these litters costs much less than bringing them to an already overwhelmed animal shelter – where, according to 2019 data, only about half of the animals entering through the shelter’s front door get into the shelter. came out alive. Also, the unfortunate fact is that when it comes to saving the lives of shelter animals, Midland sits near the bottom of the list statewide with just 48.2% of the nearly 7,200 animals. entering the refuge – and Texas is near the bottom of the list nationally. Therefore, an ounce of waste prevention is worth, as they say, a pound of cure.

We know our community can do better. Among the many lessons we have learned from the pandemic and the oil crisis is that this community is creative, resilient, kind and generous. We believe better days await with the opening of the new Midland Animal Shelter. The building itself will be a huge asset to our community, and it represents our community’s commitment to do better for our pets. We think it would be a shame – and a betrayal of public trust – if the investment in the new safe haven has not yielded better results than we have seen in recent years. Therefore, to maximize the return on this investment, Midland’s funding for the sterilization / sterilization voucher program should at least be maintained – or better yet, expanded.

Finally, the funds for the sterilization / sterilization vouchers have been and always will continue to be a limited amount. For this reason, we need to make sure that every dollar spent has the maximum effect on our goal of reducing unwanted litters, controlling the community’s cat population, and providing resources to those who actively move animals from our shelter to. the houses. We are uniquely positioned to target voucher money on these animals to ensure it has the greatest impact and to ensure goals are met without taking away this essential service for Midland residents.

Karen Patterson is Founder and President of Fix West Texas.

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