A low cost way to spay, neuter and vaccinate your pets has come to Carteret County.
Spay to Save opened a brand new mobile clinic that is offering affordable spay and neuter services to Carteret County. This unit is a first for Eastern North Carolina. Clinic workers say it is the only clinic that is on wheels, high in quality and low in cost.
"It's absolutely a dream come true," says clinic Director Joanna Shertzer. "I've always said the answer to the pet overpopulation problem is spay and neuter, and we are so excited to be able to offer that to people."
The clinic started accepting pets for surgery about two weeks ago. Already they have helped more than 100 hundred pets. They say the community reaction has been incredible.
"The response has been great," says Spay to Save Veterinarian Dr. Sara Austin. "The clients that come in have been so appreciative and excited by what we're doing. We haven't done a lot of advertising yet, a lot of it's been word of mouth, and people come and the response has been overwhelming."
Dr. Austin says most of the people they are helping have never taken their pets to a vet before. She says after their visit on the mobile clinic, studies show some of them will continue to get care for those pets.
"And then it's been shown that if they cross that hurdle of getting the surgery done and getting their first vaccines, then they are more likely to follow up with a veterinarian in the future," says Dr. Austin.
Mobile clinics have been in Carteret before, but they were from the Triangle area. One big attraction of the new Spay to Save clinic is that it can travel to spots where veterinary services are not offered in Carteret County.
"Many of them live, you know, an hour away from the closest veterinarian service. And so we are able to provide top-notch surgery to people who most need it right in their own front yard," says Shertzer.
To make an appointment or for more information visit their website: www.mobilespay.org
Dr. Austin says nation-wide, more than 50% of dogs and almost 80% of cats are euthanized. This clinic is part of an effort to lower the number of animals in shelters.
Carteret County Humane Society Acting Assistant Manager Bea Hamilton says they have too many animals. She says they do the best they can with their facilities, but kittens and puppies are frequently dropped off. In the past two weeks alone, the shelter has received eight litters of puppies.
Hamilton says the clinic has the potential to help the shelter. "If people will utilize it, I think it will help us a lot because the biggest issue we have is reproduction."
Once the mobile clinic meets the needs in Carteret County, workers hope to help Craven, Jones and Onslow Counties as well.