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Animal Control proposes spay, neuter program
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Warren County Animal Control director Km Pettrey hopes to put an end to some unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. Pettrey has proposed starting a spay and neuter program to members of the county’s Health and Welfare Committee.
Pettrey wants all animals adopted from Animal Control to be spayed or neutered before being taken to their new home.
Pettrey said the price of the adoptions with spay or neuter costs could be figured two ways: 1) have a set fee for all animals of $65, or 2) since spaying or neutering dogs is more costly than cats, dog adoptions could be $80 and cats $50.
Members of the committee were receptive to the idea. Commissioner Blaine Wilcher said, “Right now, you know more than likely it will reproduce and you will most likely get more cats and dogs in the future. This way, this is the only one we might ever get back. We need to remember we are Animal Control. We would love it if people would fix their animals and take care of them, but all don’t.”
Pettrey said, “If a person won’t get the animal fixed, it’s going to have a dozen puppies or kittens that later we are going to be responsible for. This way, we know that anything that goes out of here will not reproduce. I think it would really, really help the county in the long run.”
Committee chair Sally Brock said, “This is exciting to me because we can break the cycle. It won’t happen overnight, but we will be part of the solution and not the problem.”
Commissioner Billy Earl Jones said, “I would like to see it get to where we don’t have to put anything down but a bad dog,” referring to the fact Animal Control has a policy to euthanize animals which are not adopted in a certain amount of time.
Pettrey hopes the county will vote for mandatory spaying and neutering because one of the groups which fosters some animals from Animal Control has said it will no longer take in foster animals unless it becomes a 100 percent spay and neuter facility. All About Rescue and Fixin’ Inc. in Crossville has helped save the lives of many animals who ended up at Animal Control by fostering them and moving the animals to Northern states.
Currently, pet adoptions at Warren County Animal Control cost $35, which includes a $25 spay or neuter deposit. When proof of the procedure is presented, the deposit is refunded.
Drs. Sam and Linda Young of Sparta Road Veterinary Clinic have negotiated the price of spaying and neutering animals with Animal Control. The possible $50 to $80 price of adopting a pet which has already been altered is cheaper than adopting the pet and having the pet altered later.
Prices for spaying and neutering animals at the five area veterinary clinics, Paul’s Clinic, McMinnville Animal Care, McMinnville Animal Clinic, Sparta Road Veterinary Clinic and Town and Country Animal Hospital, all vary. Depending on the vet, the prices range from:
• Cat spay – $50 to $110
• Cat neuter – $35 to $85
• Dog spay (depends on weight) $60 to $220
• Dog neuter (depends on weight) $40 to $160
“This is a win-win,” said Brock. “We will have less unwanted animals and the price is very reasonable.”
County Executive John Pelham proposed researching the legalities of a mandatory spay and neuter policy before voting on the proposal. “I think we need to do homework on it. I would like our lawyer to verify and see if there is any state statute on how much we must charge,” said Pelham.
Members voted to check the legalities of the proposal before moving forward.
Members of the county Health and Welfare Committee are Brock, Teddy Boyd, Jones, Diane Starkey and Wilcher.