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Shreveport teams with Caddo Parish to require pet sterilization

By Gerry May

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    SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KTBS) — If you have a dog or cat in this city, you will now be required to have it spayed or neutered.

The city council voted unanimously to join Caddo Parish’s two-year program that requires pet owners to sterilize them. Parish funds will pay for the procedures at Robinson’s Rescue, a non-profit clinic on Line Avenue, which now in its 14th year of providing low or no-cost procedures.

“We’ve done over 80,000 surgeries, and we’ve put a dent in the euthanasia and the intake numbers of local shelters,” says veterinarian Dr. Andrea Everson. “So our whole point is to decrease the overpopulation, decrease the amount of animals on the streets, and decrease the amount of animals entering our shelters.”

Dr. Everson and her team were prepping pets for another busy day of 40 such operations on Tuesday.

“We really hope it raises awareness to spay and neuter,” Everson says of the ordinance. “We really hope that every pet in this community is spayed or neutered. It’s the only way we’re going to really decrease this overpopulation problem. Cats and dogs can have litter upon litter.”

She says her clinic was already preparing for an added workload before the council’s vote.

“Once we’re able to hire another veterinarian, we will be able to increase our load,” she says.

The parish will examine data at the end of two years and decide whether to make the spay/neuter mandate permanent. The city of Shreveport could do the same.

The shelter for Caddo Parish Animal Services takes in up to 5,000 animals a year, and 20 percent or more have to be put down. Commissioner John Paul Young, who sponsored Caddo’s ordinance, says it was important to get Shreveport on board, since most of the animals the shelter takes in come from the city.

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