TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Smith County Commissioners Court has approved the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to offer free spaying and neutering for residents pets.
Smith County officials said they were allocated $45 million in funds from ARPA, to provide relief following the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a release, the Smith County Commissioners Court has approved the use of $100,000 of that funding to offer free spaying and neutering as a part of the No Strays Project.
“We have faced a challenge with high numbers of stray animals in Smith County for many years, but the issue escalated during COVID and we have yet to see a decline. We rely on the public and our local rescue partners to help us find homes for the animals we pick up. Our shelter, as well as the other area shelters, remain full the majority of the time. We desperately need the public to take personal responsibility and spay or neuter their pets. We want to jumpstart the practice of spay and neutering by committing $100,000 towards a program that will offer free spay and neutering for the pets of our Smith County citizens.”
Smith County Judge Neal Franklin
According to Smith County, the funds will be given to Angel Paws Advocates, a local nonprofit animal rescue, which will be partnered with the No Strays Project. They said that the goal will be to offer free spay and neuters, so that the number of unwanted litters and spread of stray animals decreases. Vouchers for free spay and neuters will reportedly be available from the No Strays Project for Smith County residents.
Officials said that the funding will also be used to provide rabies vaccinations and microchipping, aiding their goal to decrease pet overpopulation and animal shelter population.
According to the No Strays Project, they will be performing free spay and neuters for the pets of Smith County residents every fourth Monday beginning Feb. 26 in the parking lot next to Tractor Supply at 3505 Robertson Rd. in Tyler.
“I am so proud to be partnering with Smith County to make this program come to fruition,” Veterinarian Dr. Sharon Marsh said. “The high demand on spay and neuter clinics proves that this program is desperately needed. Thank you to those who made this funding possible. I can’t wait to see the difference we make in the lives of so many Smith County animals and their families.”