Austin Needs Spay/Neuter Ordinance

RECEIVED Tue., May 4, 2010

Dear Editor,
    The goal of the no-kill resolution is to make sure no healthy adoptable animal is killed at Town Lake Animal Center. A goal I fully support, but I have a concern for the methods they plan to use. My issue is on increasing adoptions. I have a very real fear that this increase in adoptions is going to take additional revenue. One thing we should have learned in this budget cycle is that our city's revenue is not bottomless. East Austin is plagued with problems that could be solved if there were more revenue available.
    As anyone knows, I am an animal advocate. I just did my taxes for 2009 and realized I spent more than 20% of my gross income last year on animal-related expenses. I also contribute 20, and often more than 50, hours a week of my time to animal welfare. Having said that, I am also aware of the problems families in lower-income neighborhoods face. If this city has extra money, it should go into programs for at-risk low-income families. I am very concerned future revenue that should go to people will instead go to dogs and cats.
    If we want to quit killing healthy adoptable cats and dogs, we need to do something to prevent so many of them from being born. We need to do what more than 35 other cities have done and pass an enforceable spay/neuter ordinance. Without that ordinance in effect, the taxpayers of Austin are going to be burdened with an increasing number of adoptions and an increasing sum of tax dollars spent to finance those adoptions. There are too many other programs, too many other human needs, to adopt "no kill" without a spay/neuter ordinance attached to it.
    Our children should come first.
Delwin Goss
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