People are the problem — not dogs

When it comes to the overpopulation of dogs in Haywood County, leading to strays and over packed animal shelters, folks should not consider it a dog problem.

It’s a human problem.

Currently, local rescue shelter Sarge’s is trying to figure out how to keep up with the high number of dogs that end up at the Haywood County Animal Shelter. The rescue group does a tremendous job at rescuing dogs from the shelter, which would be euthanized if it wasn’t for the group’s efforts.

However, they simply cannot rescue every dog.

It’s easy to look at this from the perspective of there are too many dogs, so therefore we have a dog problem. However, the real root of the problem is caused by humans.

The numbers of dogs in Haywood County that are not spayed and neutered creates such a high number of the animals.

A Jan. 26 article in The Mountaineer highlighted rescue efforts by Sarge’s Animal Rescue in Waynesville. The story shone a light on the issue of spaying and neutering.

According to the organization, 2014 was a record year in terms of overall rescue numbers as well as its transport program, which connects dogs with adoption agencies up north.

While it’s great the organization is hitting its stride in finding suitable homes for unwanted dogs, it still means there are record numbers of dogs that need to find homes. There are simply too many dogs — cats as well — out on the streets looking for a safe place to lay their head. Too many animals that have been domesticated that don’t have a home. Too many animals looking for a meal.

There’s a simple solution.

Jim Ray, who runs the transport program at Sarge’s, candidly admits that folks in North Carolina are skeptical when it comes to spaying and neutering their pets. Ray couldn’t say enough about the importance of this simple procedure.

Not only do spay and neuter efforts prevent reproductive efforts by cats and dogs, the procedure is important for the overall health of the animals. A spayed or neutered dog is a healthier dog. Dog behavioralists agree that spaying and neutering a dog will help with its mental health as well as its physical health.

Do Haywood County — and your pet — a huge favor by getting it spayed or neutered. Also consider donating your money or time to Sarge’s Animal Rescue. This is a community problem that will take the efforts of all to fix.