Spaying or neutering pets is often recommended by veterinarians, but sticker shock keeps many from ever going through with the procedure.
Dr. David Foster and his staff just started a new, low-cost option for pet owners at the After Hours Pet Clinic in Killeen.
For about $100, veterinarians at the clinic will spay or neuter a pet, bring them up to date on vaccinations and will install a microchip. Before this service was offered, pet owners would have to drive to Waco or Austin for a similar procedure.
"It's a little more convenient probably for the pet owner knowing that the people doing the surgery are here locally, and will be able to provide any needed support the pet needs," Dr. Foster said.
The low-cost service will benefit more than just the owner's wallet. It can also lower the growing number of stray pets in the county.
"If more people spay and neuter their pets we wouldn't have the pet overpopulation problem we have today. We wouldn't need the facility we have here," Dustin Connell, Bell County Animal Shelter manager, said.
The Bell County Animal Shelter has close to 50 dog kennels and more than 60 cat cages.
Bell County officials say that when they pick up stray animals, they often hear a familiar excuse.
"One of the number one reasons we hear for not spaying and neutering pets is we can't afford it," Connell said.
The Bell County Animal shelter said they pick up anywhere from 60 to 200 stray pets a month.