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Humane Society of Northeast Georgia neuters 50,000th pet
Amanda Renner gives Crixus a hug as she and husband Bryan pick up the pit bull following a neutering procedure.

The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia hit a milestone Monday with the help of Crixus, a 1-year-old pit bull. He was the 50,000th pet neutered in its facilities.

Crixus and his family, Monroe County couple Amanda and Bryan Renner, were referred to the Humane Society by a previous customer.

“My mother-in-law just got her dog neutered here in the Fix Your Pet program and he’s been acting great,” Bryan Renner said.

The Humane Society’s acting executive director, Julie Edwards, welcomes dog owners like the Renners.

“Spaying and neutering is definitely a huge part of our mission and what we see as one of the ways to help the overpopulation crisis in the South and in Georgia.”

The spay and neuter program has been offered since 2005 and serves about 35 to 45 every day. Between its own shelter animals, pets and animals from other shelters and rescue groups, it hits around 6,500 to 6,700 per year.

Aside from reducing the overpopulation problem, the Humane Society performs the surgery for health and behavioral reasons.

“Not a lot of people realize that male and female animals can develop cancers that are associated with their hormones,” Edwards said.

“Then, of course, it helps behavioral issues. It calms the males down, and they are less likely to roam.”

Which is exactly why Crixus found his way into the Humane Society.

“He was pretty excited before, and that’s ultimately what we wanted to calm down. When he’s with just us he’s pretty calm and quiet, but when friends come over it’s different,” Amanda Renner said.

Through the Anna J. Ware Fix Your Pet program for pit bulls, the shelter was able to provide Crixus’ neutering at half price. That helped make the decision about the surgery that many people are hesitant to make. With affordable pricing and word-of-mouth referrals, Edwards hopes the Humane Society will help people become less hesitant about fixing their pets.

“There is risk in any surgery, but the amount of complication is very small compared to the benefit. It’s really better for them to be spayed and neutered than not.”

Crixus is proof.

“I’m surprised he’s just as lively,” Bryan Renner said. “I thought he’d be knocked out and tired. But he’s a very happy dog.”