City and county hold animal summit in response to staggering stray problem

- "Everybody here admits we've got a problem we got way too many strays," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

"There's no definitive way of measuring the size of Houston's stray animal population," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

It was an unprecedented meeting of the minds.

Wednesday afternoon the mayor the county judge and representatives with 20 community animal care groups came together for an animal summit to discuss concerns and to find answers.

"It's not an issue that you solve it today," the mayor said.

But strides are being made in the number of animals making it out of both the city and county shelters alive.

"We're talking about 165 dollars to euthanize an animal versus 50 dollars to get them fully vetted and be ready for adoption," said Claudine Vass founder of Fort Bend Pets Alive.

The meeting also put some misinformation to rest.

"The city of Houston has stopped picking up stray animals," one animal advocate told the crowd.

"We are picking them up let me just answer your question directly," Turner said. "That is not a true statement."

Both the city and county are saving more lives with the help of rescue groups that often send the animals to other states.

"The city is paying people to take their strays out of state the county is not " Emmett said. "If we can work it out where we don't have to pay people they come and get them why should the city have to pay those kind of things need to be worked out."

Of course the need for spay and neutering was a major topic of discussion.

"Logic dictates if you cut down the numbers you cut down the number of problems, said Sherry Ferguson with the Houston Humane Society. "You can deal with smaller numbers in a more efficient and better way."


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