Waco, Texas — It's been barely five months since the city of Waco adopted their new pet ordinance, requiring all residents to have dogs and cats spayed or neutered and micro-chipped. Already, The Humane Society of Central Texas is seeing a big difference.
Pet owners are now required to have their pets fixed before reuniting if the animals are picked up by the city.
"It's mandatory. Once they come in, if it's a reclaim, they have to have it spayed or neutered before they can go out of here," said Don Bland, Executive Director of The Humane Society of Central Texas.
So far, Bland says most pet parents are cooperative about the new law.
"There are a few that are upset because, you know, big brother is telling them what to do. But, the majority of the folks, they understand," said Bland.
The shelter works with the Animal Birth Control Clinic to provide low-cost surgery options. ABC says having your pet altered improves his or her overall health.
"The behavior benefits are so great. They're calmer. They're easier to train. They're less likely to do some of those things in the home that can cause some problems due to their hormones," said Carrie Kuehl, Director of the Animal Birth Control Clinic.
By having animals spayed and neutered, the animal shelter is solving a larger problem. The live animal exit rate is increasing. A few years ago, only 46 percent of intake animals left alive. Today, 85 percent of animals avoid euthanization.
"We're only 5% away from having "no kill" status for our city. The last 5% is going to be the hardest to get, which we know that," said Bland.
The humane society says their Facebook page, more partnerships with rescue groups, and not taking in animals from outside the county have also helped in improving their live exit rates.