Rescue groups push owners to fix their pets to reduce strays at shelters

Bastrop County

BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — Animal shelters all around Central Texas are preparing for the annual Clear the Shelters event this weekend where they try to adopt out as many dogs and cats as possible.

This is just one push these shelters do to find forever homes for pets while every other day of the year they depend on their partnerships with other organizations. 

“Right now we are just flooded with these friendly little guys,” said Bastrop County Animal Services Director Ashley Hermans. 

You don’t have to look hard to spot a cat at the Bastrop County Animal Shelter. And, you don’t have to strain your hearing to find a lot of dogs. 

“We’re usually pretty much at capacity, right now we’ve got a mom and nine puppies,” said Hermans. 

Like most animal shelters, Hermans says it’s not easy finding homes for the hundreds of animals that come into the shelter every year. This shelter has a list of partners they work with to adopt animals out including a group called Wags, Hope and Healing.  

“Honestly, there are some people that are maybe uncomfortable coming to a shelter environment because it can be overwhelming,” said Hermans. “So, by working with private rescue groups, a lot of them are foster based, the adopters can see the animals at off-site events or at their foster homes so that just provides us with extra avenues to provide these animals with homes.”

“A rescue can only do so much, so we want to do as much prevention as possible,” said the executive director of Wags, Hope and Healing Jennifer Carroll. 

Carroll says her rescue organization takes in just about any animal; right now they have pigs, turtles, hedgehogs, a goat and eight puppies. The organization is happy to save them but wishes owners would do their part in keeping the population down. 

“Once or twice a month we go into these communities, pick up the animals, take them to our clinic, have them spayed and neutered, microchips, rabies, we get vaccinations as well and then we bring them back that afternoon,” said Carroll. 

And that’s the beginning to a big decrease in the number of stray animals that end up in shelters like the one in Bastrop — all done thanks to volunteers and shelter partners. 

All dogs at the Bastrop shelter will be available for just $20 and cats for $5. If you adopt, you get a free bag of food, a crate, a dog bed and collar and leash. 

KXAN is partnering with Austin Pets Alive and other shelters across Central Texas to Clear the Shelters. The nationwide campaign Saturday, Aug. 18 aims to encourage adoptions of shelter animals. Participating shelters will drop their adoption fees for animals on Aug. 18 for the event

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