The number of abandoned pets has reportedly increased in El Paso City, Texas, following the implementation of an ordinance which requires pet owners to secure breeder or litter permits. The good news is that more adoptions are being recorded in various pet shelters in the city.
The ordinance was reportedly put in place to prevent more animals from getting euthanized and to stop owners from selling pets aged younger than one year. The ordinance, however, resulted in more people abandoning their pets or leaving them to shelters. Most animal shelters by state have experienced increased animal population last year, but the pet shelters in El Paso experienced more as owners tried to avoid getting cited under the ordinance.
The rise in the number of foreclosed homes for sale has resulted in more pets ending homeless, with the number increasing further when the ordinance was put in place last year. Around 18,000 pets are euthanized in the area every year, animal advocates have reported. The ordinance was reportedly put in place to reduce this number and discourage owners from simply going to the pound to have their pets put down.
However, the ordinance had another impact, that of increased number of abandoned pets and people walking through shelters to leave their pets to volunteers' care. More than 2,000 animals were reportedly impounded at the city's Animal Services in January of this year, up from the 1,569 recorded in the same month of 2010 and from the 1,703 in 2009.
One positive development is the increased number of pet adoptions seen in some local shelters. The Humane Society of El Paso reported that over 300 pets were adopted from its facility in January 2010. By the middle of February, 180 pets were already given permanent homes. The Society also revealed that it averages around 200-250 adoptions each month.
More people have abandoned pets in recent weeks though, local advocates have claimed. Most of them are reportedly trying to avoid a $75 fine for violating litter license regulations. The ordinance has decreased the number of violations in the area, but it also contributed to the rise in animal abandonment, pet advocates have revealed.