Population: 2.2 Million +
Homeless Stray Animal Population: 1.2 Million +
Dogs & Cats Euthanized per year: 85,000 +
Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States with a population of 2.2 Million, and most likely ranks #1 for largest stray animal population, even dubbing the nickname, “Stray City” by The World Animal Awareness Society.
These animals make their homes on the streets of Houston, often finding themselves living in the roughest of neighborhoods. The living conditions for these strays can be horrific with no access to food, water or shelter. Many strays starve to death on the streets, while others are abused, shot, or run over by cars.
It is widely known that animal overpopulation in Houston is critical. The 5 tax funded kill shelters in Houston is underfunded, and euthanasia rates top roughly 85,000 animals per year among the 5 shelters in Harris County. BARC (Houston’s Bureau of Animal Control and Regulation) alone killed 6,643 pets in 2016 which is equivalent to more than 18 pets per day. While animal advocacy organizations have tried hard to help strays in Houston, the problem is beyond critical and in order to keep strays off the street, and out of the shelters, the first and most crucial step is to spay and neuter.
“The stray animal problem is bigger than BARC; it’s bigger than the County and it requires a community-wide effort to find a community-wide solution.”
– Mayor Sylvester Turner
Saving Strays Starts With Spaying & Neutering
BARC has teamed up with a leading no-kill animal shelter in Houston, Friends for Life as well as with Emancipet and SNAP “to use a strategic, targeted approach to reduce pet overpopulation, promote pet wellness, and educate Houstonians on what responsible pet ownership looks like (BARC).” The program is called Healthy Pets Healthy Streets and targets certain neighborhoods with high volumes of complaints, dog bites and stray animals. (Top Zip Codes for Strays in Houston Since 2015)
To promote pet wellness and help to prevent overpopulation, the services offered include:
- Free spay/neuter service
- Free rabies vaccine
- Free microchip
- Free one year pet license
To qualify, you must:
- Live within the city limits (Map Here)
- First come, first serve
- Current ID and a utility bill
- Pets must be 4 months or older
- Limit of 3 pets per household
Barc also states through their strategic and targeted approach, Houston will be home to healthier dogs, sterilized pets and a life improvement game-changer for Houston’s strays. However, results will not be seen right away, and this project will take a good amount of time.
Help Strays & Save Lives.
The good news is that you can help.
The number one way you can help is by spaying neutering your own pets and educating others on the importance of doing so.
Why spay & neuter?
- 85,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Harris county each year because they are unwanted
- 1.2 million stray dogs and cats live on the streets of Houston in often deplorable conditions
- Spaying & neutering is GOOD for your pet.
- Reduces the chance of reproductive cancer
- Reduces homeless animals on the street & suffering
- Prevents females from going into heat(period for dogs)
- Reduces chance of roaming/losing your pet
- REDUCES OVERPOPULATION & SAVES LIVES
Other Ways To Help
- Adopt–25% of shelter dogs are PURE BRED. There are also so many rescue organizations. You can find the PERFECT dog or cat for you, and you’re saving their life!
- Foster- You can foster kittens, cats, puppies, dogs, certain breeds… ECT. This is a great way to help out an animal in need while they are recovering from an illness, susceptible to shelter diseases, or just waiting for their forever home. Foster programs usually cover all the bills including shots, vet visits, food, and most of them also hold adoption events. Do you research!
- Advocate- This one is sooo easy! Repost photos, posts, pages on the internet and social media like: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogging, Instagram
- Volunteer For The Shelter-Take photos, walk dogs, play with cats, bathe dogs, help with adoption events… this one is easy and can be very rewarding and fun!
- Volunteer For A Rescue Group–Feed stray dogs, foster, rehabilitate, educate others. The list goes on!
- Donate-With so many needy animals, donations are always needed. You can donate to the rescue organizations, shelters, or the city.