Leader Blues

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

TOP STORY>> Cabot shelter plans low-cost clinic

By SARA GREENE
Leader staff writer

There will be a reduced cost spay, neuter and shot clinic at the Cabot Animal Shelter, 8000 Kerr Station Road by appointment only Aug. 23 through 25.
For the past seven years, Arkansans for Animals has been serving towns across the state with a modified recreational vehicle serving as a mobile animal surgery hospital.

“We try to have these clinics every couple of months,” said Lisa Hughes, animal control officer.

“People need to sign up early because there’s a couple of forms that need to be filled out before the surgeries.”

The income guidelines for the clinic, according to Arkansans for Animals, are $15,000 for individuals, $25,000 for families. Animal guidelines for the clinic include being free of ticks and fleas, not dipped or treated for ticks and fleas within three days of the surgery or shots and the animals must have a clean, sanitary created for after surgery. There is a $10 deposit that can be used towards the total cost of shots or surgery. The rabies cost is $5. Additional shots are available as well.

The surgery cost depends on the sex and size of the pet. Spaying a dog weighing 55 pounds costs about $65. Neutering a male cat costs $15.

Joyce Hillard, executive director of Arkansans for Animals, said the mobile surgery unit can perform about 25 surgeries each day of the clinic. Dr. Joanna McManus will perform the surgeries at the Cabot clinic.

"With the mobile unit, we’ve done 30,000 surgeries," Hillard said. "I think in certain towns, we’ve completely cleaned up their stray animal problems."
Among the benefits of neutering a dog is decreased aggression such as dog bites.

"It costs $1,500 to treat a person for a dog bite," Hillard said.

"Someone has to pay for that."

She added that in a typical litter of puppies or kittens, one in 12 will find a home. Unadopted, the other 11 will not reach 2 years old.

Hillard said Arkansans for Animals was asked in 1998 by relief agencies if there was any sort of disaster aid program for animals.
"Arkansas had nothing like this," Hillard said.

"There’s no public mandate or state funding. We get our funding from out of state with organizations like SpayUSA and Friends of Animals."

The mobile unit can be anywhere in the state within four hours after a natural disaster such as tornadoes or thunderstorms.

For more information on the reduced cost spay, neuter and shot clinic, contact the Cabot Animal Shelter at (501) 843-2021.