Thursday, January 24, 2013

Read this Article on Houston's Animal Overpopulation

Below is a post that appeared on Unity for a Solution's facebook page today. We think it's great that people outside of the animal advocacy groups are demanding that Houston's animal overpopulation problem needs to be addressed. 
Tell your city officials how you feel about the issue- links to contact info included at the end of the story.
Check out today’s Houston Chronicle article “Dump an animal, get caught” By Ingrid Lobet. It’s only available to digital subscribers but here is a link where you can see the whole article:

We want to highlight this portion of the article near its end: “Chris Newport, a spokesman for Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, said the dumping is part of something deeper, not fully separable from the larger issue of strays. He says Houston needs a conversation with itself about pets, one that addresses people's reluctance to spay and neuter them, a service that is free in the city via a mobile clinic to those who cannot afford to pay. ‘A conservative figure is there are 750,000 strays on the streets of Houston,’ Newport said.”

We agree with Newport that Houston needs a conversation with itself about pets but let’s get the facts straight first:

1. BARC told Fox news reporter Natalie Bomke in a story that aired 9/21/12 that there are 1.2 million strays in Houston.
2. The spay neuter service mentioned in the article is provided by one (1) SNAP mobile clinic, which can spay or neuter up to 25 animals per visit. Even if the SNAP clinic operated every day of the year (including holidays), that totals a maximum of 9125 animals fixed per year. How does that compare with 1.2 million strays and countless owned animals that are not fixed?
3. One deterrent to using SNAP is that they require proof of government assistance which is a problem in several communities around the city.

Some of us have been out in the community signing up residents for free spay and neuter for their pets. Our experience was that many people want to spay or neuter their animals but they cannot afford to! While there are some out there who will refuse, there are many, many others who will gladly spay neuter their pets if they can do it at a reduced cost or free of charge.

Let the mayor and your city council member know how you feel about Houston’s animal overpopulation and what the city is doing to address it. If you do contact them, let us know their response. Thank you!
Links to contact City of Houston's Mayor and Council Members:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Uniting Houston's Animal Advocacy Groups

Barrio Dogs’ main emphasis continues to be education and outreach to residents to improve animal welfare in our East End Houston community. We are always looking for new ways to get to the root of the cause behind animals suffering in our neighborhood. Nevertheless, we have observed that despite our best efforts, the situation continues to worsen in our community and in others areas around Houston.

As a result, we have decided to join forces with other established and independent Houston animal welfare groups to bring more supporters and attention to our cause. Unity for a Solution is a new initiative by Barrio Dogs, Corridor Rescue and Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward to address animal overpopulation and improve conditions for homeless and unwanted animals in Houston.

One of Unity for a Solution’s first priorities is to work with the city of Houston and Houston elected officials to develop a plan to bring more low cost or free spay and neuter for pets and other animals in areas of Houston that are hardest hit by animal overpopulation. The group will also work to raise public awareness in the communities we serve about the importance of spay and neuter and proper animal care, something that Barrio Dogs has already begun to do with our FixIt Spay Neuter Project. The decision to unite forces grew from our 2012 “Music for Mutts” collaboration and from the realization that together, we have a better chance of improving the lives of the many homeless and unwanted animals suffering in Houston.

You can help us by “liking” our new Facebook and writing to your elected officials on our behalf; addresses and a template for a letter are on the current Facebook site. We will be providing updates, information and Calls to Action on Facebook so please check our page from time to time. We thank you!