HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Humane Society of Harlingen (HSH) is offering thousands of spay and neuter surgeries over the course of the next six months in an effort to solve what the shelter calls an “overpopulation crisis” of homeless animals.

According to HSH Director Luis Quintanilla the shelter typically takes in about 10,000 animals a year, but with one surgery, that number can be cut down dramatically.

Quintanilla said a normal-sized litter for both cats and dogs is between 10 and 12 newborns, so he’s hoping that with this clinic, they can reduce the number of animals roaming the streets.

HSH began trial surgery clinics two years ago and Quintanilla told ValleyCentral those went over well and he saw a high success rate.

After Quintanilla and his dozen staff members became familiar with the procedure, he decided it was time to offer more surgeries.

The cost of spay and neuter surgeries for cats and dogs will be between $80 and $125.

Humane Society of Harlingen’s spay, neuter surgery pricing.

At veterinarian clinics, that price is typically a few hundred dollars.

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Quintanilla said with five cities in the Rio Grande Valley being on the “poorest cities” list in Texas, offering affordable, low cost surgeries was a no brainer. He understands that not everyone is in a financially stable place, so he wants to help RGV pet owners as much as possible.

HSH still doesn’t have an on-site vet and isn’t close to finding one, so the price of the surgery will go into paying travel vets, according to Quintanilla.

“Since we don’t have a vet on staff that is a resident here full time, we have to make sure to arrange those travel plans for those vets because some of them come out of state and so we have to make sure we have their flight arranges, their hotel, all that stuff,” added Quintanilla.

Quintanilla said vets are a “precious yet scarce resource,” especially to a non-profit such as HSH, but that they’ve secured vets for the next seven months.

HSH is offering 2,200 surgeries and will be by appointment only during their regular shelter hours. Shelter hours are from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

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Registration opened up on April 1 for the first two months of appointments and within 48 hours, 300 sign-up spots have been filled.

HSH’s hope is to max out registration sign-up to get the ball rolling on a “Valley-wide issue.”

“It’s the problem. It’s the source of the problem. If we as a shelter were just focused on getting the animals out once they’ve already arrived, well we’re not doing our job,” said Quintanilla. “It’s not really being proactive. It’s just reacting to something so this is about trying to get ahead of that problem once and for all.”

If you’re interested in making an appointment with HSH for a spay or neuter surgery, visit their website.