Local group trying to solve homeless pet problem

Animal shelters across our area are experiencing overcrowding and, on Friday, they'll likely get more animals. Last year, on July 5, after the Independence Day fireworks, the Harris County Animal Shelter reports they took in hundreds animals. 

The shelter can comfortably hold about 200 animals.

"But we have been averaging over 500 animals," said Martha Marquez, Public Information Officer with Harris County Public Health.

Last week, the shelter posted a video of a two and a half hour wait to surrender animals.

"The shelter exists because there are a lot of unwanted animals in our community," Marquez added.

The local non-profit, Houston PetSet, works to end pet homelessness by providing grants to local animal welfare organizations. They focus on increasing access to spay and neuter programs, transport and rescue of pets, community outreach, cruelty prevention, research, and advocacy. 

"It’s one of our social issues that is solvable," said Tama Lundquist. She and her sister Tena serve as the organization's co-presidents.

Houston PetSet recently commissioned a study by a group of researchers from Rice University to get to the root causes of animal overpopulation in and around Houston.

Some findings including the lack of low-cost

The study mentions cities similar to Houston in size that have decreased their stray populations. 

"Compared to other cities we are spending a lot less on this issue," Tama told FOX 26.

She says the problem in Houston has gone unchecked for too long. 

"Other cities have made great strides in doing this and just need to catch up," she concluded.

To keep your pet safe on July 4th, make sure they are inside during the fireworks and make sure they have a collar and tag in case they do get lost.