UNION COUNTY, Ark. (9/29/20) — If you haven’t already filled out your taxes in Union County, there’s a small change that could make a big make impact to tackle a booming pet overpopulation.
“We added to the bottom of all of the tax statements this year the option to donate to the spay/neuter program for UCAPS,” Union County Judge Mike Loftin said.
To date, taxpayers have contributed about $5,400 to the program. The Union County Quorum Court voted on the measure last year which will help the Union County Animal Protection Services.
“Just last week we took in like 25 cats. The phone is ringing nonstop,” UCAPS Board President, Terra Walker said. “A lady pulled up with two adults cats and eight kittens in her car. She said I can’t keep these. So we’re stuck. We could turn them away or that would mean eight cats on the streets reproducing.”
Veterinarian and Owner of Pitard Animal Clinic, Dr. Brennan Pitard, said dogs can have approximately 2 litters per year with average litter size of 6 to 7 puppies but he’s seen litters with 12 to 13 puppies. Although, cats reproduce more often.
“A cat could have 4 to 5 litters per year. Let’s say if you have 5 kittens per litter that’s 25 kittens. All of those go out in 5 to 6 months and their having their first heat cycles. You could go from 25 to 100 to 300,” Dr. Pitard said.
According to UCAPS, a large majority of the animals they take in aren’t spayed and neutered and they don’t have the funding to pay for that operation for the hundreds of cats and dogs at their facilities.
Judge Loftin says the goal is to raise between $8,000 to $10,000 this year. The money will be used for spay/neuter vouchers.
Right now, it won’t pay for the whole operation which ranges between $100 to $140 but that could change depending on how much money is raised.
This is an optional contribution on your tax statements but U-CAPS hopes the community will make this priority.
“There might be people out there that aren’t pet owners but this contribution goes to benefit UCAPS. UCAPS provides a service to El Dorado and at anytime you may find a stray dog on the street, a litter of puppies dumped and that’s a cost we have to absorb,” Walker said.
“If everybody in the community gave just 10 dollars think about where we could be.”
You can donate however much money you would like until the forms are due on October 15 but you can always give to UCAPS by making financial donations or purchasing bags of food for the pets.