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‘Nip’ homeless animal population in the bud with low-cost spay, neuter procedure

Published on October 5, 2022

Animal shelters and rescue organizations across the U.S. have been operating in crisis mode for months due to a surge in the homeless pet population, and Huntsville Animal Services is no exception. The good news is that there is a simple path toward a solution – spaying and neutering pets.

“We used to take in 7-10 [animals] on a typical day,” said Animal Services Director Dr. Karen Sheppard. “Lately, it’s common for us to take in 25 or more in a single day. A few weeks ago, we took in 34 in just one day.”

While the need for adopters and foster homes is still there, another need exists that has a direct impact on the number of homeless animals in the city.

“We really need people to get their pets spayed and neutered,” Sheppard said, adding that the cost of a spay/neuter procedure is much less than the cost of caring for a litter.”

If getting a pet fixed is cost-prohibitive, there are several ways to get a lower-cost, income-based spay/neuter procedure. Huntsville pet owners who are on state or federal subsidized assistance or have an adjusted gross annual income of $35,000 or less qualify for the Fixin’ Alabama Spay/Neuter Program.

Qualifying pet owners can go to Huntsville Animal Services at 4950 Triana Blvd. SW, show proof of eligibility (e.g., Medicaid, Disability, EBT, WIC, tax documents) and get a voucher. They can then contact a participating veterinary office to schedule the spay/neuter surgery and remit the voucher. The pet owner will also receive a free lifetime license for the newly spayed/neutered pet.

Additionally, Spay/Neuter Action Project (SNAP) assists with low-cost spay/neuter procedures for eligible pet owners in Madison County.

Anyone interested in adopting a spayed or neutered animal should visit Huntsville Animal Services. Adoptable pets are also vaccinated, microchipped and come with a City license and free bag of pet food. Those unable to adopt are asked to consider fostering an animal through the shelter’s foster program.

Click here to see photos, ages and descriptions of available animals.

The shelter is located at 4950 Triana Blvd SW and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Call 256-883-3783, visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/Animal or check them out on Facebook to learn more.