Group Has Waiting List For Spay/Neuter Clinic
A special spay/neuter program initiated in northern Moore County is so well-accepted that the sponsoring committee has a waiting list of more than 100 pets.
This is good news, because it assures the Citizens' Pet Responsibility Committee of a steady clientele for the upcoming clinics it is planning.
Committee Chairwoman An-gela Zumwalt said the waiting list contains 69 dogs and 50 cats, more than enough for the next clinic, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the Davis Community Center near Robbins.
The committee held its October meeting Wednesday night at the Robbins Town Hall.
Zumwalt said the waiting list is needed because a certain number of "no-shows" can be expected at each clinic. About five individuals who had signed up to bring pets to the first clinic on Oct. 3 did not show up. Nevertheless, the clinic handled spay/neuter procedures for 23 pets that day.
The committee plans to hold monthly clinics through next spring, when the Companion Animal Clinic on U.S. 1 between Southern Pines and Vass is expected to open on a permanent basis. In the meantime, the committee has secured funding from the county and nonprofit groups to supplement the reduced fees charged at the clinics.
Zumwalt said the committee is working on a program to involve interested local veterinarians in joining the effort.
At present, the service is being provided by veterinarians working out of the Research Triangle, who bring a mobile unit to Moore County to provide the service. These visiting vets charge regular fees, part of which is paid by the county to make the service affordable and more attractive to pet owners with limited income.
Animal Advocates of Moore County Inc. and Moore Humane Society have also made contributions to the spay/neuter fund.
The clinic charges $40 per cat and $45 for a dog weighing no more than 59 pounds. The committee makes up the difference between these charges and the vet fees with the contributions from the county and the two pet nonprofits.
"We're learning every time we do it," said Dr. Tom Daniel, a committee member and the man spearheading the Companion Animal Clinic effort. "We can learn how to do it better."
Daniel said the object of the program is to reach under-served areas of the county.
"We've got an opportunity to serve people with economic need, and these are the people we're looking for," Daniel said.
However, Zumwalt said the committee is working out an agreement with a Southern Pines veterinarian who offers part-time service in Robbins. Under that agreement, the veterinarian would offer the spay/neuter service under terms similar to those the clinic is providing in cooperation with the Triangle vets. She said that similar arrangements may be worked out with other veterinarians in the county.
Daniel said that all vets in Moore County should have a similar opportunity to participate if they are interested. He pointed out that veterinary service is not as easily available in some parts of the county as it is in the Southern Pines area.
The committee discussed scheduling changes and is considering holding two clinics in November and none in December because families have a tendency not to respond to such services during the holiday season.
In other business, Zumwalt reported that contact has been made with the North Shore Animal League America in Long Island, N.Y., the largest no-kill pet rescue and adoption organization in the country.
She said the league might be willing to pick up some of the excess animals left at the Moore County Animal Shelter and transport them to the New York site, where adoptions are easier to arrange.
The league already makes runs into Iredell County to pick up excess pets for transport back to New York. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, the committee would need to arrange transportation for the animals from Carthage to Iredell County.
Zumwalt said the county's animal shelter is so well maintained that the pets there meet the standards set by the league. The league has an arrangement in Iredell County because of a generous donor who lives in that county.
The committee also discussed plans to hold an open house program at the animal shelter in early December and worked on logistics for the Pet Responsibility Day to be held in April in northern Moore County.
The committee was appointed by the Board of Commissioners to work on solutions to the county's serious pet overpopulation problem.
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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