COPPERAS COVE — An agreement between the city and Fort Hood to allow Army veterinarians to spay and neuter shelter animals could be implemented soon.
The agreement, which was approved with a 5-2 vote Tuesday night by the Copperas Cove City Council, is under final review by Fort Hood’s staff judge advocate office, according to a III Corps spokesman.
Once approved the plan is by Fort Hood, veterinarians with the 43rd Medical Detachment Veterinary Services Support Team, 21st Combat Support Hospital, would spay and neuter animals from the shelter at least once a month.
Capt. Nathan Carlton, with the 43rd Medical Detachment, said he expects the unit can provide 10 to 15 operations a month, depending on the breed and type of animal.
The unit would operate on healthy and adoptable animals from the city’s shelter, the agreement stated.
Copperas Cove Deputy Police Chief Mike Heintzelman, who oversees animal control, said having the animals spayed or neutered by Fort Hood veterinarians could increase the number of adoptions at the shelter.
“The animals are more likely to be adopted,” Heintzelman said, adding that animals that are not spayed or neutered at the time of adoption must have the procedure after they leave the shelter.
The agreement covers the cost of supplies for the operations and delivery of the animals to a facility on post.
Besides benefiting the city, the agreement also gives the detachment’s veterinarians hands-on experience, Carlton said.
“Our goal is to help the city of Copperas Cove and the small-animal population and get our guys some training,” he said.
Kevin Kruse, a veterinarian at Hill Country Animal Shelter, asked the council to reject the agreement, saying it would reduce his business.
Councilman Jim Schmitz said the agreement could help lower the number of animals at the shelter and save more animals.
“When you talk about 10 to 15 (procedures) a month, I don’t think that is a lot off these businesses,” he said.
Schmitz was one of five council members who voted in favor of the agreement. Councilman Gary Kent and Mayor Pro Tem Frank Seffrood opposed it.