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AAGS seeks funding to build low-cost spay/neuter clinic

A volunteer veterinarian provides care to a cat. The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse is hoping to build a clinic where similar volunteers can conduct high-volume spay/neuter surgeries in order to reduce the number of homeless animals, many of whom must be euthanized.

A volunteer veterinarian provides care to a cat. The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse is hoping to build a clinic where similar volunteers can conduct high-volume spay/neuter surgeries in order to reduce the number of homeless animals, many of whom must be euthanized.

— The AAGS hopes to reduce the rate of euthanasia by reducing the animal population in Central New York through a spay/neuter program. Volunteer veterinarians will operate on 30 to 40 animals a day, doing high-volume surgeries that many vets don’t conduct on a regular basis. The Humane Alliance will provide training to those vets to prepare them for the task.

“What differentiates high-volume spay-neuter from what the veterinarians and techs typically learn in their training consists of both technique and procedure,” Chambers said. “The vets, for instance, learn particular knots, as well as the techniques that allow them to leave a very tiny incision in a spayed animal. The technicians learn lessons of efficiency that use almost a production line methodology to create a smooth flow while decreasing the chances for errors.”

Though the Humane Alliance training is free, the agency advised the AAGS that they should raise at least $35,000 to ensure that the clinic can provide care. Anyone who participates in the training must raise that money first. The AAGS has just begun its campaign, raising approximately $2,000 so far. They’re also seeking a space to house the clinic.

“We are looking for a building of about 2,000 to 3,000 square feet with water and electricity available and ample parking,” Chambers said. “We hope to get donations from the community to renovate it to our needs. Since we are just starting up, our budget for rent the first year is small.”

Chambers said the clinic would be open five to six days a week, depending on when the vets are available. Services will be provided to those who meet specific income qualifications. Transportation of pets will be provided if necessary. Once the clinic gets off the ground, it hopes to provide the surgeries at about $25 per operation, far less than the $150 to $400 a typical vet charges, and even less than the average low-cost spay/neuter program, which charges about $75 to $100. Chambers said providing that option should reduce the number of pets on the streets, and thus the euthanasia rate in Central New York.

“The lack of low-cost spay-neuter options is a major factor in the high euthanasia rate,” she said. “More than 44,000 dogs and cats live in Onondaga County households that exist below the poverty line. Local spay-neuter surgeries are simply unaffordable for them.”

If you’d like to help, you can send donations by mail at P.O. Box 94, Liverpool, NY 13088, through the AAGS website at animalallianceofgreatersyracuse.org, on its Facebook site at facebook.com/AnimalAlliance or at rally.org/AnimalAlliance. All donations are tax exempt.

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