A new program made possible by donations to the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center is designed to increase the number of pets that are spayed and neutered in Gregg County.

Spay it Forward will provide $100 vouchers for Gregg County residents who make less than $50,000 per year to have their dog or cat spayed or neutered by a participating veterinarian of their choice.

“Spay it Forward is a proactive approach to addressing stray animals in Gregg County. Currently, LACAC’s staff veterinarian spays or neuters every cat or dog who is put up for adoption and has performed more than 8,500 spay and neuter surgeries over the last five years,” information about the program says. “Spay it Forward will combine the shelter’s current efforts with a community-wide push to increase the number of animals who are spayed or neutered on our streets.”

On Thursday, the City Council accepted a $30,000 donation from Longview PAWS (Pets are Worth Saving) to help kick off the program. Longview PAWS is a nonprofit group created to support the animal shelter. The group and the shelter will continue soliciting donations from the public and local businesses to support the program.

District 4 Councilwoman Kristen Ishihara, a founding board member of Longview PAWS, said the Humane Society of East Texas and Longview PAWS provided grants for the new program. She said in the five years the shelter has been open, intake numbers have declined as the facility has worked to educate the community and adopt out animals that have been spayed and neutered.

“However, we could always do better. Now is the time for us to start taking preventative measures,” Ishihara said.

The program will assist people who can’t afford to have their pets spayed or neutered because of the cost.

“Almost all of our local vets are participating, and we thank them very much for their contribution as well,” Ishihara said.

Pet owners can contact the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center for information about the program at 303 H.G. Mosley Parkway or by calling (903) 297-7387.

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