HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Because February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, Huntsville Animal Services is putting a special emphases on the importance pet owners breaking the cycle of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.
“Last year, we released more than 90 percent of the animals we took in,” Sheppard said. “That’s an incredible feat for our staff, our community and our foster homes, but we could have saved even more if more animals had been spayed or neutered. We can celebrate the 90 percent, but we want to really focus on what we can do to save the 10 percent, too.”
Like Cosmo, each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered before it leaves the facility. They are also microchipped and come with a City license and free bag of pet food.
Sheppard said there are plenty of spay/neuter options available in the community, most of which can be found at HuntsvilleAL.gov/Spay-Neuter. The City also provides funds for a spay/neuter program for low-income residents.
“We helped 400 more animals in 2022 than we did in 2021,” Sheppard said. “That number would have been much lower if everyone spayed and neutered their pets. We’re hopeful 2023 will be a groundbreaking year for spay/neuter awareness in our community.”
Kennels at Huntsville Animal Services are overflowing with pets of every shape and size in need of a good home. Director Dr. Karen Sheppard said the shelter has experienced a jump in intakes, including two recent litters of puppies.
“The need to rehome these animals is urgent because we’re out of room,” she said. “The fact we’re so overcrowded illustrates why it’s so critical to spay and neuter pets to reduce the homeless pet population.”
Each pet adopted from Huntsville Animal Services is vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped and comes with a City license and free bag of pet food. Click here to see photos, ages and descriptions of available animals.
Can't adopt right now? Consider one of HAS's fostering programs. Sleepover and foster programs allow a host to learn more about an animal. That information, along with photos of the pet, can be key to finding a permanent home.
And while studies cite mental and physical health benefits of pet ownership for humans, Sheppard said shelter pets benefit the most.
“There are so many misconceptions about shelter pets being unhealthy or having a bad temperament, but we have plenty of loving dogs and cats that will make great companions,” she said. “Come see us, find an animal you like, spend some time with it and take it home. It’s really as simple as that.”