Houston City Council Approves Nearly $975,000 in Funding for Pet Spaying and Neutering Programs

Houston City Council Approves Nearly $975,000 in Funding for Pet Spaying and Neutering Programs

In a recent City Council meeting, Houston officials allocated $974,558.40 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Recovery funds to enhance spay and neuter services for pets in the community. The funds will be split between Houston PetSet and the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), both longstanding partners of the City of Houston.

The approved funds include:

  • $181,300.00 for Houston PetSet to support surgeries for 1,400 cats and dogs.
  • $793,258.40 for SNAP to fund surgeries for 4,880 cats and dogs.

The City of Houston, committed to addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents, aims to promote responsible pet ownership through spay/neuter programs and mandatory microchipping. Mayor Sylvester Turner emphasized the importance of collaborations with organizations like SNAP and Houston PetSet in tackling the core issue of stray animal overpopulation.

Mayor Turner stated, “Through this targeted funding, more than 6,200 animals can be spayed or neutered, as the City continues a long-term strategy targeting pet homelessness and the threat to public safety that a stray animal population may pose.”

The decision to allocate additional funds stems from the rise in calls for service related to stray animals, with BARC Shelter Director Jarrad Mears noting a 48% increase in animals brought into the shelter. Partnerships with organizations like Houston PetSet and SNAP are seen as vital to addressing the root causes of the stray animal problem by providing increased access to spay and neuter services.

These funds complement existing City initiatives, including BARC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy Streets program, which allocates $520,000 annually to support the spaying and neutering of around 3,500 animals each year. The surgeries are provided free of cost to Houston residents through local spay/neuter clinics.

In 2022, the City further bolstered its spay/neuter funding by $500,000, enabling BARC to collaborate with additional local organizations such as Houston PetSet, K-9 Angels’ “Empty Shelter Project,” and Houston Spay Neuter. The combined efforts of BARC and its partners resulted in over 7,700 dogs and cats being spayed or neutered in Fiscal Year 2023.

For more information on BARC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy Streets initiative, visit https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/healthy_pets_healthy_streets.html.