Can the city do more to curb the pet population?

Can the city do more to curb the pet population?

19 Action News has learned of an Internet petition drive aimed at Cleveland City Hall and saving stray dogs.  Animal lovers say the city kills too many dogs -- so we took the hard questions to the dog warden.

Cages inside the city kennel are full and signs that say "adopt me" are everywhere.

Joy Robinson says she's volunteered there and has seen too many dogs put to sleep.  Because of this she's leading a petition drive.  She wants the city to put up money to help folks get dogs spayed or neutered -- for free or almost.

"We don't have enough rescues.  We don't have enough foster homes and we don't have enough adopters.  So the way to deal with that is to control the overpopulation to begin with," said Joy Robinson.

The petition is online and people nationwide are signing it.  The dog warden says the kennel is finding more and more dogs homes.  The kennel used to put to sleep half of the dogs that came here, now only a 25%.

"So 74% of the dogs are leaving here alive. That's a great accomplishment from where we were at. And, we want to do better," said Dog Warden John Baird.

Plus the kennel refers people to low-cost clinics to get animals fixed.  A third is opening and the warden and others have analyzed where the need is greatest.  "We are going to go out and blanket the area.  Leave lots of pamphlets and other information where they can go to get their dogs spayed or neutered."

Joy meantime thinks if the city kicks in money for pet owners it will save money.  "Its a fraction of the cost to spay and neuter a pet versus having to house them, pay for the facility."  She's trying to collect 5,000 signatures.

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