Humane Society officer states position

Published 12:37 am Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dear editor,

Reading your March 9th article “Shelter seeks funding for spay/neuter program,” I was disheartened that the Star-News hadn’t reached out to us for comment before publication.

Spay/neuter is the most important defense against shelter euthanasia, unwanted litters, and animal abuse. And, even though Alabama law is grossly inadequate on the subject, many Alabama shelters are committed to every pet being neutered BEFORE they leave the shelter – including the Andalusia Area Humane Society.

From the beginning in 2013, the stated purpose of our spay/neuter collaboration with the city’s Andalusia Animal Shelter was for every adopted pet to be neutered BEFORE going home with a new family. An easy fix and everyone wins. But, on review, our records indicate this has not been the case and, last month, the Andalusia Area Humane Society Board regretfully notified city officials and shelter staff that we were suspending the program indefinitely. Based on their 274 city shelter adoptions reported for 2012 in the Star-News, we anticipated about 1,000 over the four year period. Yet, according to our records, less than 250 were surgically neutered during this time. Absent additional information to the contrary, we concluded the program simply was not working – that too many animals were leaving the shelter still able to produce unwanted litters to end up back in shelters, abused, or homeless.

We believe local veterinarians would provide the same low-cost spay/neuter option to the city’s shelter without the Andalusia Area Humane Society covering a portion of their expense and hope the city shelter will make this a priority on their own. Even if they have to pay the city’s $30 adoption fee toward the surgery, a $92 adoption fee for a pet that’s spayed or neutered and current on rabies is a great deal for any new owner – and it’s extremely important for the animals and community at large.

As volunteer “Friends of the Shelter,” we remain dedicated to improving the lives of ‘at risk’ dogs and cats in Andalusia and Covington County – and look forward to working with the city on future projects. In 2017, we are on track to complete the Estep Community Dog Park and hope to enhance our spay/neuter outreach with a community-supported program to begin addressing the feral cat problem.



Debra Evans, Treasurer

Andalusia Area Humane Society, Inc


Editor’s note: Andalusia Police Chief Paul Hudson, who has oversight of the Andalusia Animal Shelter, told The Star-News this week that, shelter employees keep records of all adoptions and if they animals are spayed or neutered. If the shelter adopts an animal to a home, they set up the appointment with a vet, and send the partial payment for the service. Then, they do follow-up on the appointment and make sure it’s completed. If not, employees investigate. Like members of the humane society, he said, shelter employees want what is best for animals.