There was a huge turnout Saturday at a spay and neuter event in north Houston.

A total of 300 animals were fixed, all for free.

This event happened after 59 puppies were dumped at the Harris County Animal Shelter last week.

Local rescue groups stepped up Saturday to prevent more strays.

“We are spaying and neutering under-served communities of Harris County,” said Mary Tipton, co-founder of K-9 Angels Rescue, and the Empty Shelter Project.

On Saturday, 80 veterinarians, 40 vet technicians, and 240 volunteers all came together to curb Houston’s estimated stray population of 1.2 million animals.

“More spaying and neutering needs to happen. We will never be able to adopt our way out of this problem,” said Miller Friedman, operations manager of the Empty Shelter Project.

Hundreds showed up in the early morning hours at the Hardy Senior Center in Harris County to get their pets spayed, neutered, vaccinated and even micro-chipped.

“It’s just overwhelming what a great turnout this is,” Tipton said.

It was an opportunity made possible thanks to two rescue groups, the K-9 Angels Rescue and S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition, teaming up to start “The Empty Shelter Project.”

“Many of these dogs and cats have never seen a vet. This is the first time they’ve ever seen a vet in their life,” said Angela McGhee, with S.A.V.E. Rescue/The Empty Shelter Project.

Educating, and giving pet owners a chance to better their dogs and cats lives.

“We’ve given them a foundation to start with,” McGhee said.

The event 100 percent privately funded.

“We have 10 anesthesia machines, surgery lights, tables, and we do this like a mass triage, over here, and we all come together and make this work,” Tipton said.

All hard work, soon to ripple forward.

“The impact that it’ll make on the community, by spaying these animals, it’s something we might not be able to see tomorrow, but in the future, it’ll have an impact,” Friedman said.

The two rescue groups plan to hold free spay and neuter events quarterly.