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Responsible Pet Care
What Is the Responsible Pet Care Program?
The Responsible Pet Care Program was started to share information with the residents of Bastrop County and to encourage spay and neuter among all pet dogs and cats. We know that people love their animals and want to care for them as best they can. Information about proper care and where to go for resources such as low cost vaccinations and affordable spay/neuter surgery will benefit the lives of not only the animals, but also the people who love and care for them. No one wants to watch a beloved animal suffer and become gravely ill from an easily and affordably preventable disease such as parvo, distemper or infection with heartworms. The cost of treatment is often prohibitive for most people and can result in the heartbreaking loss of a pet. Spaying and neutering pets can prevent certain illnesses and improve behavior problems such as marking and wandering from home. Pregnant animals are at risk for costly complications and raising a healthy litter of puppies or kittens is expensive and time consuming. Most importantly, not allowing dogs and cats to breed will reduce the number of animals in the shelter and help the ones already there find loving, forever homes.
Do I really need to vaccinate my pet?
Yes!! Pets really do need to be vaccinated in order to stay healthy. For dogs, parvo virus, distemper and leptospirosis are in the environment. These diseases are expensive and difficult to treat and often fatal, especially in young animals. Cats also need the protection given by vaccinating. Once symptoms appear, rabies is fatal to animals and people. Because of the serious health threat to people, rabies vaccines are required for pets by law.
When should I vaccinate my pet?
Pets need a series of vaccines to develop immunity. Puppies and kittens can start at between 6-8 weeks of age with boosters at 12 and 16 weeks. After the first series vaccines are done yearly. The first rabies vaccine is usually given at 16 weeks and repeated after the first year. After the first year, a three year rabies vaccine can be given. Talk a veterinarian to learn more about vaccinating your dog and cat.
What is the benefit of spaying or neutering my pet?
There are many significant benefits to spaying and neutering ("fixing") your pets. As the owner of a "fixed" animal you will benefit from decreased costs for situations such as caring for a unintended litters, potential health complications due to pregnancy and the elimination of certain conditions and even cancers. Fixed pets live longer lives and are less likely to have behavioral issues such as territorial marking and aggression. Most dog bites involve unaltered animals. They are also less likely to wander from home and at risk for becoming lost or hit by cars in the street. Having pets spayed or neutered as early as possible offers the most health and behavioral benefits.
When should I have my pet Spayed or Neutered?
There are different opinions about what age is the best to spay and neuter young animals. If your pet is grown the time to spay or neuter is now! Kittens can go into season and become pregnant as young as 4 months and puppies can go into season and become pregnant as young as 6 months. For this reason it is best to schedule the surgery when the last puppy and kitten shots are given. Spaying and neutering by at least 5 months of age ensures that no accidental litters are born to young, unaltered animals. Emancipet of Austin provides affordable spay and neuter surgeries and holds mobile clinic srvices monthly in Bastrop and quarterly in Elgin and Smithville. If you live in Bastrop County and need assistance with the cost of having you dog or cat spayed or neutered please contact Chanie Wells, Responsible Pet Care Coordinator at chani.wells@co.bastrop.tx.us or at (512) 581-4013

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