Most communities have a problem with unowned dogs and cats roaming the neighborhoods and Lamar is no different. Daily police reports show numerous calls to the Code Enforcement Officers to corral lost or run-away pets, as well as homeless dogs with no permanent address. Indiscriminate breeding only leads to an increase in stray dogs which can foster a host of problems.
The Lamar City Council recently gave approval to apply for a grant to provide funding for the spaying and neutering of all dogs at the Lamar Animal Shelter. The shelter has begun spaying and neutering all dogs prior to the animal being transferred or adopted to new owners, eliminating the cost to the new family. The grant also covers any needed emergency care for the animals. The grant is for $10,000 from the Colorado Pet Over-population Fund. Local veterinarians, Eaton Veterinary Clinic, Big Timbers Veterinary Clinic and Lamar Veterinary Clinic, have agreed to provide a discounted rate to the Lamar Animal Shelter. Based on 2014 and 2015 estimates of animals captured in the city and not returned to their owners, approximately 133 animals could be spayed at $75 per animal and 153 males could be neutered at $65 per animal.
Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, outlined the project while praising the work done by Stephanie Spitz, hired by the city this past summer to become the full-time manager at the Lamar Animal Shelter. “She has done a fantastic job for us since she started there,” the Chief commented. Spitz has started a facebook page of photos of dogs that are in residence at the shelter which has helped owners retrieve a wandering pet, as well as helping make the public aware of adoptable dogs at the shelter throughout the year.
Records show the Lamar Police Department’s Animal Control Officers averaged 37 stray captures each month last year and during that period, 130 animals were adopted or transferred. The year before there were 94 transactions and in 2013, that number was 150. In 2015, 338 stray animals were captured with 241 returned to their owners and the year before, that number was 222 with 145 reunited with their owners.
By Russ Baldwin
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