A local non-profit clinic is open in Pineville, offering residents low cost spay and neuter surgeries for their furry friends.
Spay Neuter Charlotte opened a new location at the beginning of November at 10833 Pineville Road to be more accessible to south Charlotte residents, executive director and founder Cary Bernstein said. The clinic, based in NoDa, has performed close to 12,000 spay/neuter surgeries and has seen more than 3,000 animals for basic wellness services since opening in 2011.
“We’re basically a high-quality, low cost spay/neuter and wellness clinic,” Bernstein said, adding the clinic also is very customer-oriented and provides a lot of high-quality customer and patient care. As an example, Bernstein said each owner of surgical patients is provided with an email address to use if they have any post operation concerns and a doctor who is on call at all hours answers the email.
“Private vet practices don’t do that,” Bernstein said. “We do because we want to provide that level of care.”
Bernstein hopes the clinic will be fully scheduled beginning Jan. 1. “This is sort of our ramp-up period,” she said.
The new location in Pineville will hopefully alleviate the need for discount veterinarian services and address the issue of homeless animals and overpopulation, Bernstein said.
“There’s a lot of pet owners living in that part of the city, and we knew there was not a lot of low-cost services, …” Bernstein said.
The clinic offers spay and neuter services for both cats and dogs, as well as vaccines for rabies, distemper/parvo and bordetella, and leukemia and AIDS in cats. The clinic also provides microchip services and flea and heartworm treatment.
“Our mission is to help end preventable euthanasia in this community. And to do that, we need to broaden our reach,” she said. “Expanding our organization will only get us closer to achieving that dream.”
Discount spay and neutering should help Charlotte – which euthanized almost 11,000 animals in 2012, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care and Control website – become a no-kill community. It’s a goal Bernstein and her team are determined to reach.
In order to achieve that ambition, Bernstein said there are a number of ways to address the problem – including preventing homeless animals from producing litters and adopting from a shelter instead of buying an animal. While she isn’t against people buying animals, Bernstein said the first place a person should look when wanting an animal is a shelter. Another way to end preventable euthanasia is to provide resources to people dealing with behavioral problems from their animals. Bernstein said a “ridiculous percentage of people surrender animals because they are having behavior problems.”
The clinic currently has one main doctor and performs surgery one to two days per week.
The opening of the new location is due, in part, to grants received from PetSmart Charities, which donated money toward the opening of the first Spay Neuter Charlotte. The company recently gave Spay Neuter Charlotte $84,000 for the Pineville location, Bernstein said.
PetSmart Charities also donates money for specials that discount the already-discounted surgical procedures, like the events that will happen in January and February.
Called Happy Neuter Year, the January specials will offer pet owners $20 neutering services for male dogs or cats. In February, the clinic will host Beat the Heat, an event that will offer pet owners $20 spay procedures for female cats or dogs.
Spay Neuter Charlotte is an affiliate of the much larger Humane Alliance group formed in Asheville in 1994. The Humane Alliance has “fostered a new mentoring culture across the country to successfully replicate our tried and tested clinic model,” according to its website.
Find more information on Spay Neuter Charlotte at www.spayneutercharlotte.org.