Hill County Paw Pals, Hill County, Texas

Five Cent Pet Overpopulation Solution?

The concept for the need of county-level animal control support stems from four (4) liabilities that pet overpopulation burdens our communities with—Health, Economic, Legal, and Safety (H.E.L.S.).  Some people, even highly educated ones, talk about dealing with pet overpopulation with a 5 cent bullet.  This mindset is reckless, irrational, callused and short-sighted.  Correcting pet overpopulation cannot be thought of in such simplistic terms because of its magnitude and seriousness.  Only a small portion of our community has the capability or willingness to “shoot” “stray(s)”.  Pet overpopulation will only continue to proliferate because of its exponential growth.  The implicit fact remains that two uncontrolled breeding dogs can produce 4,735 offspring in just four years while cats can produce over 420,000 offspring during this same period.  Pet overpopulation can only be controlled by simultaneously embracing the proactive programs of Education, Legislation, Spay/Neuter while having the reactive programs of adoption and euthanasia in place—the 5 cent bullet program is a wild-west myth.  It stands to reason that if, in fact, the 5 cent bullet approach to animal control really did work, then our counties and communities would not still find themselves in the midst of a pet overpopulation crisis.  Every day the Sheriff’s Office receives at least a half dozen calls related to “strays.” Every day a few individual Paw Pal supporters receive ten calls a day related to “strays.” Animal control is a core service expected by taxpayers—just as police, fire, and ambulance services are expected.  If all it takes to solve the problems related to stray and unwanted animals is a 5 cent bullet, then there are a few taxpayers who would be interested to know about it.  Tell the 80 year old widowed lady who just had a litter of puppies dumped on her rural property about the 5 cent solution.  Tell the young four year old girl bitten in the face by a “stray” who was subsequently never quarantined because no dedicated quarantine area (animal shelter) exists in our county about the 5 cent solution.  Tell the residents of one of our county communities who are frightened to walk in the evenings because packs of feral dogs are loose about the 5 cent solution.  Tell the community leaders who had a stray dog infected by a rabid skunk that was never quarantined about the 5 cent solution.  The bottom-line for Hill County is that we need an animal shelter to support its communities and serve its citizens.  Hillsboro, as the major city, and Hill County are the only communities in Central Texas without an animal shelter that provides for an adoption center.  It is fundamentally wrong to accept the status quo of “reacting” to pet overpopulation with 100% euthanasia as practiced in Hillsboro simply because there is no adoption center.  It is fundamentally wrong to accept the status quo of doing “nothing” with the absence of any county-level animal control because of the “we don’t need to change” mentality of some elected officials when dealing with a situation (pet overpopulation) that can be corrected—burdening our communities with the liabilities of pet overpopulation.

Without an animal shelter, neither the Sheriff’s Office nor anyone associated with Paw Pals can do anything with your “stray” problems—only the token lucky few unwanted companion animals can be advertised and adopted.  The next time you have a “stray” problem, it would be more productive for you to call your County Commissioner and let them know you need animal control support for the county: Precinct 1 Commissioner, Bob Atwell, 874-5435; Precinct 2 Commissioner, James Buzzbee, 694-3787; Precinct 3 Commissioner, Sam McClendon, 623-4236; and Precinct 4 Commissioner John Erwin, 687-2751.

Hill County Paw Pals stands ready to donate the large sum of money we have worked so hard to raise over the past two years to build a county-level animal shelter and to bring positive change to our great county.  It is up to all of us, individually and as a community, to let our elected leaders know we want positive change in how our county deals with animal control and the safety of its residents.  For more information about Paw Pals call 580-0679 or email hcpawpals@yahoo.com.  A general meeting for Paw Pals has been scheduled for Thursday, August 24 from 6:30-7:30pm at the Bullock Room in the Hill College Cafeteria (across the street from the History Complex).  The public is invited and encouraged to attend!