EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Veterinary Medical Association is proposing an agreement to meet the high demand for Veterinarians in El Paso.

Director of Animal Services Terry Kebschull says the city of El Paso is over populated with dogs and cats.

Adding that, as of now animal services has not had a veterinarian on staff for more than 2 months. 

“We have a position for 4 Veterinarians, so we have a spot for a Chief Veterinarian and then 3 Veterinarians,” Kebschull said. 

The El Paso Veterinary Medical Association is hoping that the El Paso City Manager signs an agreement of 1.5 million dollars to Animal Services, for the need of Veterinarians to spay and neuter their animals.

“This is why we continually look for a full-time veterinarian. We’re continuing that process. We’ve changed some of these specifications, where we’ve increased their pay. So we are hoping to attract a veterinarian or veterinarians in the not too distant future to come work with us here,” Kebschull said.  

Kebschull oversees the operations at the Animal Services Department and he tells KTSM they have to go out to local vet clinics who are in contract with them to get these services completed.

Especially because hundreds of animals are still waiting to get adopted.

“We’re on a big backlog right now, so we have animals here that are not spayed or neutered. Right now we’re about 1,000  to 1,100 animals here at the shelter. We also have about 3,000 in foster care that also need spayed or neutered services as well,” Kebschull said.

Although spaying or neutering brings health benefits, it is also to keep them protected during breeding season and to keep the city from overpopulation. 

It will also help the owner with medical services in the long run. 

Adding that even when they do get a Veterinarian, they will still need help from other local clinics.  

Animal Services says there is a Veterinarian shortage across the nation. As in El Paso, there are 20 to 25 openings for Veterinarians from the El Paso Veterinary Medical Association. 

kebschull says since there is no Veterinarian, no surgeries or wellness checks happening at the animal shelters right now. Making it much more difficult to ensure dozens of pets to be ready for adoption.

For instance, if the pet is not fixed they have a program called Foster to Adopt. Allowing you to take the pet home but the animal is still technically under the Animal Services care. 

Once there is an opening to get the pet fixed, they will schedule the appointment and complete the adoption process.

City Council meeting will be held at City Hall today, August 30 at 9 a.m. in person and virtually.

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