P.E.T.S. Population Milestone

After being open for eight years, the P.E.T.S. Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic has reached a huge milestone.

On Monday, July 6th, 2015 they performed their 30,000th surgery.  This is a big step when it comes to controlling the pet population.

Officials explained they serve Wichita Falls and the surrounding communities, including Graham, Iowa Park, Nocona, Bowie, Jacksboro, and Burkburnett.  This is a lot of areas, but it will take a lot to control the overpopulation.

"Last year we took in 4,925 unwanted cats and dogs in Wichita Falls," Lesie Harrelson, Executive Director and Founder of P.E.T.S. said.

These animals were either brought in by animal control, picked up by residents, or brought over by shelters.  Due to the overpopulation, not every animal found a forever home.  Harrelson said 60-percent of them had to be euthanized.  However, this was an improvement from the previous year where the rate was 90-percent.

"The only thing that we can do is spay and neuter these animals," she said, "There is no way for animals to practice birth control on their own.  It is absolutely up to the owners and the responsible pet owners."

However, some owners do not want to neuter or spay their pets.  For some, they are afraid the surgery will change their pet's personality or cause them to gain weight.  Harrelson said men are often against neutering their pet because they associate their own manhood with them.  However, she said these are just excuses and a misconception.

"Animals don't have sexuality like humans do.  They don't seek out partners for fun or any other reasons than to mate," she said, "It's an instinct and by removing those hormones you take away that instinct."

Another misconception is that only female animals should be spayed since they are the ones to get pregnant.  However, Harrelson explained it doesn't matter if they are male or female.  They should all be "fixed."

In addition to preventing unwanted litters, your pet will become easier to train and will be better behaved.  Another positive is your pet will live longer.

"You are reducing and eliminating many kinds of cancers and diseases associated with those hormones," Harrelson said.

One of the reasons why the clinic wants to solve the overpopulation is so that way Wichita Falls can become "No Kill Shelter."  They support the movement going on across Wichita Falls.

"A no kill shelter with a bunch of cages is not going to be the answer," she said

As she explained, animals are bred to be companion animals.  So, they are supposed to live with people instead of cages.  However, this won't be possible until the overpopulation is under control.  She hopes this will happen in the next eight years of the non-profit organization being open.

"This problem is absolutely resolvable if the people would just spay and neuter," she said.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6