Hill County Paw Pals, Hill County, Texas

Hill County Paw Pals Marks 2nd Anniversary for Sterilization/Vaccination Clinic

Controlling pet overpopulation can only be accomplished with proactive measures.  Reactive measures of adoption and euthanasia will never correct a phenomenon that has exponential growth—the fact remains that two uncontrolled breeding dogs can produce 4,372 offspring in just fours years while cats can produce 420,715 offspring in this same period.  Without correction, pet overpopulation will only worsen and present continued burdens to our communities with health, economic, legal, and safety liabilities.   Hill County Paw Pals realized that no county has ever corrected pet overpopulation without offering affordable sterilization services.  This realization generated collaboration with Texas Coalition for Animal Protection (TCAP), a non-profit organization based in Denton, and Paw Pals sponsorship of a low cost clinic was initiated.  This service is offered free of tax payers’ expense on the first Tuesday of each month.  Paw Pals receives zero income for this service—all costs go toward compensating the licensed veterinarian and technicians performing the surgeries.  This month, the clinic marked its second anniversary since being founded by Kathy Moore of Hillsboro on February 15, 2005.  The volunteers who made this clinic another success were Jackie Chance, Cleo Davis, Andrea Finch, Dana Fuchs, Jane Green, Mike Hendricks, Kathy Moore, Diana Prince, Lea Slocum, Lonnie Tilson, and Lorie Welch.

By using a Humane Society of the United States’ pet population formula, it is estimated that 28,239 family pets live in Hill County.  It is also estimated that 50-70% are not current on vaccination for rabies—leaving a dangerous number of between 14,000- 20,000 susceptible pets that are in direct contact with our children (this figure does not include the thousands of unwanted dogs and cats that have been “dumped”).  Texas Rabies Control Act states that every pet over 4 months of age must be vaccinated against rabies.  Violation of this law is a Class C Misdemeanor with a fine up to $500.  Rabies virus is transmitted from the saliva of an infected animal.  Although usually transmitted from a bite wound, a simple cut on one’s finger has the potential of being the entry point for the deadly virus.  Once the symptoms of rabies virus occur, it is near 100% fatal in both animals and humans.  This zoonotic disease (an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans) must be taken seriously.  Vaccinating a family pet indirectly affords some protection from rabies to human members of the household.  Paw Pals encourages all pet owners to establish a relationship with a local veterinarian for routine care.  Paw Pals Low Cost Clinics are offered on the first Tuesday of each month at Hillsboro Civic Center.  Each pet will need an appointment for surgery by calling 1-866-310-PETS (7387).  Pets needing only vaccinations do not need an appointment. Vaccinations are given from 10am-2pm.  If you would like to volunteer, please call Kathy at 582-9374.  For more information about Paw Pals, call 580-0679.