Barrio Dogs launched their FixIt! program in October. In less than two months, they have spayed and neutered 129 cats and dogs free of charge for families in low-income communities on Houston's East End.
Their final event is today from 10am to 1pm at Ingrando Park. At the event, volunteers will be registering local residents for free spay and neuter surgeries.
The goal of the Barrio Dogs FixIt! program is to address animal overpopulation and raise awareness about proper pet care in Houston's East End. Barrio Dogs has been raising money for FixIt! since the beginning of the year and it is funded entirely by private donations. It is also the only program in the East End to provide free spay or neuter for all animals belonging to any low income resident.
Barrio Dogs hopes to fix at least 200 animals by the end of the year and to repeat FixIt! annually.
"The one thing I pray every day when I leave and come home to my community is that I won't see a dead or homeless dog. Some days I'm lucky but many days I'm not," Barrio Dogs founder and president Gloria Medina Zenteno said. "Barrio Dogs is desperately trying to spread the word that spay and neuter is the only solution to Houston's animal overpopulation. We know that we must address the root of the problem not just by spaying and neutering animals but more importantly, by teaching residents that if they don't want to see stray and homeless animals loose on the streets, they must take proper care of their own animals."
A 2010 Health of Houston survey conducted by the University of Texas School of Public Health found that stray animals are a major neighborhood concern for 61 percent of East End residents; crime was a distant second with 33 percent of residents citing it as their biggest concern.
For more information on Barrio Dogs, including volunteer and donation opportunities, visit www.barriodogs.org.