City Of Houston Contracts With Nonprofit To Reduce Stray Animal Population

The Houston City Council has approved a contract to expand spay and neuter services in low-income areas.


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Parker and Emancipet CEO
Houston City Council members join Mayor Annise Parker (speaking) and Emancipet CEO Amy Mills (second from right) at a news conference announcing the contract with the nonprofit.


Emancipet has helped reduce the number of strays in three Texas cities.

Houston will support the nonprofit’s mobile spay and neuter services with $260,000 from the General Fund. More specifically, from the funds of three council members.

One of them is Robert Gallegos from District I, which covers downtown and part of the East End. He brought the issue to the mayor’s attention.

“One of my constituents was mauled to death on Jan. 6 of last year,” he said. “Even though I was in office just for a week, it was under my watch. So therefore, it was something that actually went to the top of my list of things to address in my district.”  

The number of stray animals in Greater Houston is estimated to be between 800,000 and 1.2 million.

Emancipet will set up a trailer outside Neighborhood Centers’ Ripley House in the East End and offer low-cost spaying and neutering by appointment.

Officials say that service normally costs more than $100.

Amy Mills, the organization’s CEO, said they’ll charge between $35 and $65.

“For so long, lower-income families haven’t had a place to go to have their pets spayed and neutered,” she said. “And as a result, we’ve had so many unwanted litters born in this community, which drives the stray population up to the really, really high levels that we’ve been talking about.”

The group hopes to eventually expand to three permanent facilities.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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