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      'Spay A Mama' and help prevent pet overpopulation

      Although there are about 30 animal kennels provided by the Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society, most of those are never available. That's because of a severe animal overpopulation problem most of the country, including Amarillo, faces every single day.

      Representatives with the local humane society said that very problem is the reason so many animals are put down each year.

      "It's why the shelter is full," explained Amarillo Humane Society Executive Director Jena Mcfall. "It's why animals are dying every day. They're having to be euthanized because of the overpopulation because there aren't enough people to house all these animals."

      The mission of the Humane Society is to prevent those animals from being euthanized and so to combat euthanasia and overpopulation, the group established the "Spay A Mama" program several years back.

      "You call us when they're born, we'll take then when they're weened and we'll make sure they get spayed and neutered before they're adopted and we'll spay your mama for free and return her to you," added McFall.

      Spaying or neutering your pet can cost anywhere between $130 to $200, plus the possible addition of extra fees for the size of the animal. By surrendering your litter of kittens or puppies to the Humane Society and having the mother animal spayed will help prevent your pet from reproducing again as well as keep the ones in the litter from reproducing as they grow up.

      "We do require that you give us all of them," added McFall. "You cannot keep any of them, you cannot give any of them away because we're trying to fight pet overpopulation. So what we're trying to do it make sure that all of them are spayed or neutered before they leave here and we can't do that if you keep them."

      Justin Upchurch experienced the heartbreak of pet overpopulation on Wednesday. He took a two-week-old kitten to the Humane Society when he found it at his home, abandoned by its stray mother. Although he found the kitten too late to take advantage of the "Spay A Mama" program, he hopes others will use it to keep incidents like this one from happening again.

      "It's hard to get a hold of her and get her spayed but if I can get her spayed it would prevent incidents with me bringing in a two and a half week old kitten that got separated from the litter," said Upchurch.

      For more information on the "Spay A Mama" program or to learn more about adopting from the Humane Society, just stop by their office at 3501 S. Osage or call them at 373-1716.