The Texas Federation of Animal Care Societies says the drive to end euthanasia of unwanted pets will never result in San Antonio and other cities achieving their stated goal of becoming 'no kill cities' unless the Legislature moves to impose strict spay and neuter laws, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The group, which represents shelters and groups like the Humane Society and the SPCA, is holding its annual meeting in San Antonio.
"You just can't keep giving animals away, and expect that it is going to solve the problem," said Pat Nordyke, the group's executive director. "It's never going to solve the problem."
She says many cities, like San Antonio, have tightened up on spay and neuter laws, but the only way that the population of unwanted pets is even going to come down is for the state to emulate a tough new law just approved by the City of Waco.
"They have just passed a spay/neuter ordinance that says you 'shall' have your animals spayed or neutered," she said.
Nordyke says Waco allocated money to spay and neuter pets owned by people who may not be able to afford the process, and also is sending animal control officers into neighborhoods to make sure pets are spayed.
Several reasons, from cost to cultural backlash, have prevented state lawmakers from moving forward with proposed tough new spay/neuter laws.
The organization is also experimenting with ways that dogs which are considered 'unadoptable' because they are so active can be trained to become working service dogs. Nordyke says there remains a major demand for dogs to do work ranging from sniffing out drugs and explosives, to helping disabled war veterans.
She also praised the new law that places pets under the umbrella of 'protective orders' and allows judges to step in and prevent harm from being done to pets in domestic violence cases. Nordyke says too often, an abuser will threaten to harm the victim's beloved cat or dog if she leaves him or calls for help. Nordyke singled out the San Antonio Battered Women's Shelter for praise for installing a kennel on the property where the pets of battered women can be protected.