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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Prevent a Litter provides low cost pet services


Veterinarian technician Alex Robbins (left) and PALS office manager Renee Vanderford give a dog a vaccine, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, at Prevent a Litter.

On Feb. 3 Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra declared February as spay and neuter awareness month. Prevent a Litter or PALS is a non-profit organization made up of volunteers located in San Marcos to help students with low-cost pet needs.
The awareness is to help stop free-roaming cats and to promote trap-neuter-return guidelines for strays. PALS provides low-cost spays, neuters, vaccinations, animal food and more. They were created to help stop pet homelessness and pet overpopulation.
Lauren Foye, the president, and clinical director of PALS said she wants more people to know about their non-profit and to take advantage of their services.
“If you are a certain low-income bracket you can get a spay and neuter for free,” Foye said. “If you just qualify outside of that, and you still need to use our service then we have the low-cost option.”
Foye knows that students love to adopt a pet right away when they get to college since most students are alone for the first time, and she wants people to know that PALS is the place to get their pet set up if needed.
“We want to make the students aware on campus that there are options,” Foye said. “They get their first apartment and they’re super excited to buy a pet, but that comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot of costs.”
Foye is encouraging more people to help volunteer with PALS and also would like to see more organizations from Texas State volunteer to help.
“It would be great for different organizations that wanted to do some community service-based project where they raise funds or they do a dog food or cat food drive,” Foye said. “We’re always looking for opportunities for the students to get involved with us and vice versa.”
Texas was ranked number one for animal shelter deaths in 2021. In support of the Hays County no-kill initiative, Becerra asks that pet owners get their pets spayed and neutered to prevent the stray animal population from growing.
Volunteering is needed at PALS, according to Foye. Volunteers like Lindsey Diehl, a master’s program student, are doing what they can to help. Diehl helps at the check-in desks at clinics by answering questions and handing out paperwork. 
Working with PALS has given Diehls a new perspective on treating animals and the importance of taking care of them.
“I think it’s enjoyable, I personally really like working with the animals, and it’s flexible,” Diehl said. “It has let me get introduced to a whole different side of the animal welfare that I hadn’t been familiar with.”
Diehl said help is needed with paperwork, animal handling and pet food and supplies. Volunteers can sign up through the PALS website and they have flexible scheduling.
Students should be advised that taking care of a pet can be a lot of responsibility, Jennifer Rodriguez, a theatre junior, said.
“I’d say owning a pet can be difficult when it comes to learning what they’re like and being financially capable of getting everything they need. They can be very pricey, and those prices can end up being more expensive than you thought,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said students who are thinking about getting a pet should know about proper care expenses, rooming and overall readiness.
“Get the stuff you need gradually before you get your pet to make sure it’s not too financially straining,” Rodriguez said. “Take into deep consideration if you’re financially capable and mentally capable of taking care of an animal.”
For more information on PALS, visit its website or its San Marcos location at 215 W San Antonio St. #101.

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  • Stray dog brought into PALS after the freeze receives treatment, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, at Prevent a Litter.

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