Houston’s stray overpopulation problem becomes issue in mayoral race for the first time

“No food, no water, the animals are suffering and the people are suffering too,” said Tama Lundquist.

You don’t have to look far to see the problem of stray animals in this northeast side neighborhood.

“In many neighborhoods, parents can’t send their children to school without someone walking them with packs of dogs running around people can’t enjoy the bike trails because of all the packs of dogs and strays,” said Tena Lundquist-Faust.

The Lundquist sisters are the founders of a non-profit called Houston PetSet.Their goal is to bring all the suffering caused by our stray overpopulation problem to an end.

“It’s an absolute crisis. It’s unlike what we see in any other city in the United States and we need to do something about it,” said Lundquist-Faust.

The stray animal crisis has even become a big issue in the mayoral race.

“What I’m proud of is we are actually talking about this in the debates the issue has come up,” said Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee. “I’ve noticed some of the city council candidates are talking about it.”

Last spring, Houston PetSet held a mayoral forum asking candidates a series of questions about their plans to combat the growing stray epidemic here.

“This is the first time that we know of that this issue has become part of the platform of many of the candidates,” Lundquist-Faust said. “I think that’s a good sign for the animals of Houston.”

“We’ve developed what I believe to be a comprehensive strategy and I want the city of Houston to lead the effort,” Buzbee said.

We tried repeatedly to get an on-camera interview with Mayor Sylvester Turner, but we were told he was unavailable.

In his written response to the Houston PetSet questionnaire, the mayor points out Houston must continue to do everything possible to support spay and neuter programs.

He also wants to increase adoption and transfer services.

“We know it’s a problem that can be solved,” said Tama Lundquist. “How are they going to engage with the community to solve the problem.”