In an effort to reduce the population of unwanted pets, Greenup County officials are eyeing a mandatory spay and neuter program for those adopted from the animal shelter.
The program would mimic that of one in place in Boyd County, Doug Collins, Greenup County deputy judge-executive, said. When a pet is adopted from the shelter, the owner will receive a voucher for the procedure and a rabies vaccination.
The voucher is worth $75, Collins said. Participating veterinary clinics will perform the procedure and bill the county monthly, he said. Both dogs and cats are covered.
“Greenup County is like a lot of other places around here. You have a stray dog problem or dogs get out and get with others and have pups,” said Collins. Many of those end up at the Greenup County Animal Shelter, he said. Cats are the same.
Doug Jordan, Greenup’s animal control officer, said on Wednesday there were 40 dogs and puppies at the shelter awaiting adoption, in addition to 30 cats. Jordan said the shelter stays full, often with a waiting list of complaints about stray animals stacking up. “We have people holding back,” he said.
The shelter works with several local and out-of-state groups — including ones in Indiana and West Virginia — to find homes for the animals, Jordan said. Even with those efforts, shelter space is always in demand and some euthanizing does occur.
“We try to cut the population down. The rescue groups that we have had coming in are doing very well, but as soon as we pull one, we have something right back in. It is just rolling back over. We fill the cages right back up,” Jordan said.
On Tuesday, the Greenup County Fiscal Court approved the program, which is being funded initially through a grant from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Collins said the $2,000 grant “will just get us started.”
The county has agreement from one veterinary clinic to accept the vouchers and is looking for more. Collins hopes to roll out the program in the coming month.
The Greenup County shelter, at 46 Dog Gone Lane, accepts animals from Elliott, Johnson and Carter counties on a contract basis. Adoption fees are $10 for a pet older than 12 months old and $5 for those younger than 12 months.
All dogs receive bordetella and distemper/parvovirus vaccines before they leave the shelter.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org