LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) — It’s no secret East Texas has a stray dog problem. The City of Lufkin is tackling the issue hands-on with their updated ordinances now in effect.

“It was important to update our code just really to make the laws more clear and concise and also to set the expectation for our community on just the basic care of animals,” said Director of Animal Services at Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter in Lufkin, Aaron Ramsey.

Ramsey said Lufkin is trying to make sure more pet owners take responsibility for their animals instead of dumping them in shelters.

Changes include spaying and neutering requirements, along with new fees for surrendering an animal.

“Try to get to the root of the problem of why municipal shelters continue to see this volume coming in and it really comes down to spaying and neutering,” added Ramsey.

These new ordinances are in place to help keep East Texas dogs in safe and happy homes instead of on the streets and reproducing.

Now, it will cost Lufkin pet owners $50 to surrender their animals to the shelter. Those out of the city limits will pay $80.

The fees partly increased to better align with what it costs to care for each animal there. However, dropping off a stray will still be free.

“Resources are very limited and we’re very fortunate to have this size of a shelter in an area like this which most places don’t,” explained Ramsey.

Ramsey said the shelter is pretty full now, but explained volume slows down in the winter.

“The problem is probably larger in this area because we’re one of the only shelters for many miles that actually you know accept animals,” said Ramsey.

He said he hopes these changes can help save lives and make a big difference in the stray population.

If you are interested in adopting an animal at the Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter, click here.

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