Houston's silent epidemic: a research on how stray animals have been taking over the streets of the fourth largest city in the United States

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Lee, Jong
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This study is an overview of the stray animal population in the City of Houston and the significant problems the City is facing compared to across the rest of the United States. The data suggests Houston’s stray animal population is significantly higher in comparison to the United State, and the funding is significantly lower. Where is the disconnect between Houston and the rest of the United States? The research suggests the City has had increased funding and made significant steps to increase live release rates (LRR), return to owner (RTO), return to field (RTF). But how much further behind is Houston compared to peer cities? Houston has recently implemented a number of animal-related ordinances, however; resulting changes are unknown since data has not taken these ordinances into account. Natural disasters have also taken a toll on Houston. This creative project takes a look at a timeframe where Houston has faced numerous floods, a hurricane, and the COVID-19 Pandemic, which could have displaced hundreds if not thousands of animals across the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Country. The Coronavirus outbreak effected humans and animals globally. Because of the pandemic, the data may be skewed due to people suddenly passing away and leaving their pets homeless or people losing their jobs during the pandemic forcing them to abandon or surrender their pets. However, it’s a variable that the world dealt with. The data suggests Houston’s stray animal population and shelters may not have adapted as well as other shelters across the Country. The study will also take a look at the perception Houstonians have about stray animals and peek into which pockets of the City that has the most disproportion number of stray animals.