Spay and neuter program appeals to pet lovers

Jason Angus

May 6, 2014

Since the City of Altus Animal Control Center implemented the spay and neuter program, people are more eager to offer their homes and adopt a loveable pet, explained animal control Supervisor, Officer Tony Lee. The center has so far funded the spaying and neutering for approximately 50 to 60 dogs, prior to adoption.

Once a month, the center sends a number of animals via transportation service, “A-Snips,” to Oklahoma City to be fixed. As a result, those pets return more lovable and sociable toward their owners and other animals.

“It seems that as soon as we get them back here they are adopted out in a week or two because people want to buy them since they don’t have to worry about them,” Officer Lee said. The other benefit is that the new adopter wont have to pay for the procedure that can cost over $100.

Not only does it make pet adoption more desirable, Lee explained, but it reduces the stray population by having less dogs mating and running amok, having unwanted litters. Less unwanted litters also means less pet neglect will occur.

Before the program was developed, animals were transferred to a rescue shelter after an 8 or 9 day “stray hold” period, but now are held longer to offer Altus residents first pick. State Law requires that all animals are neutered/spayed prior to adoption ($50 adoption fee), or pay an additional $40 deposit to be refunded once proof of the procedure is provided within 2 months.

“Eventually we would like to get it to where it does come down to all dogs needing to be spayed and neutered,” Lee stated.

The idea was suggested to Officer Lee who met with Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy and Deputy Chief Mike Bell to be further developed into a successful program.

“Our ultimate goal here is to rescue and adopt as many animals as we can,” Chief Murphy said, who recently adopted a miniature greyhound from the center. “The staff is doing a great job.”

Animal Control does operate on a limited budget. Anyone interested in making donations can do so at Animal Control, or at the City Complex (specify for Animal Control). Volunteers are encouraged to stop by and give the animals some attention and even take for a walk.

The City of Altus Animal Control Center (AACC) receives about 35 dogs per week. Some are surrendered by owners or saved from abusive or neglectful homes, while others are found loose roaming the streets. Of those animals picked up as strays, only a quarter are claimed by their owner.

To adopt, volunteer, make donations, or more informatinon contact the Animal Control Center at (580) 481-2285.