The Harker Heights Kiwanis Club learned about the Pet Adoption Center from club member and Assistant City Manager Patty Brunson on Tuesday.

The center was built in 2010 and includes 43 cat adoption cages, 17 cat intake cages, 22 dog adoption cages and nine dog intake cages.

“The intake cages provide an area to keep the animals for a certain amount of time after they are picked up. The intake area is also used for animals who might be sick or injured,” Brunson said.

The center provides the basics such as food, water and shelter. Volunteers provide extra attention such as exercise, play time, and special feeding.

State law requires the center keep stray animals for a minimum of 72 hours before they are made available for adoption.

The center is a strong advocate of microchipping.

According to dogrescurers.com, taxpayers spend more than $1 billion nationwide each year to house and feed stray animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates there are currently 70 million strays nationwide.

Harker Heights is on track to adopt out more than 600 dogs and more than 350 cats this year. On average, 10 percent of the dogs and cats adopted out will be returned to the center.

According to Heights guidelines, an adopted pet is to be spayed or neutered within 30 days with documentation returned to the center.

“If a dog is not neutered, in one year, they can average 16 offspring. Based on the 16 offspring, by year six the offspring would total 67,000,” Brunson said. “We call that a real-world example.”

Locations that spay or neuter cats and dogs include: Emancipet, 205 W. Ave. B, Killeen, 254-415-4950; Texas Vets for Pets, 2501 South W.S. Young Drive, Suite 109, Killeen, 254-833-0338; Aztec Pet Hospital, 104 W. Farm-to-Maket 2410, Harker Heights, 254-699-6725 and Pet Medical Center, 501 E. FM 2410, Harker Heights, 254-690-6769.

For information about the Pet Adoption Center and the center’s future plans, go to www.harkerheights.com/petadoptioncenter.

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