Friday, August 5, 2011

New clinic aims to help control pet population free of charge

By Michelle Boudin, WCNC

The former head of the humane society is trying to make Charlotte a no kill community for stray animals.

Charlotte's Animal Care and Control took in almost 19,000 strays in 2010.

12,000 cats and dogs were put to sleep because there's no room to house them.

The former head of the humane society is taking things into her own hands, as she tries to make charlotte a no-kill community.

Trey, a pet to Casandra Mooney, was wobbly on his feet as he prepared to be neutered on Friday morning.

“He’s a sweetheart, pitbull, but a sweetheart,” said Mooney about Trey.

She found Trey and now he's the latest stray her family has rescued.

“We’re on the sixth or seventh version of Trey and it gets financially to be kind of a burden to be able to take on vaccinations and spay and neuter,” said Mooney.

Mooney went to Spay Neuter Charlotte, a non-profit clinic.

Cary Bernstein, the former head of the humane society, opened the clinic this week.

“In general I think the public is very caring where animals are concerned, I just don’t know that they understand that our community euthanizes 12,000 healthy animals a year,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein believes controlling the pet population is the answer.

“If you have an animal and you don’t want a litter, the way to not have a litter is to have your animal fixed,” said Bernstein.

But getting animals fixed can get expensive. Some vets charge hundreds of dollars.

“I think there are lots of folks out there that want to do the right thing by their animals but can’t afford it in today’s economy,” Bernstein said.

Mooney said, “In these times I think everybody is kind of prioritizing what they can and can’t pay for and as much as we love animals it was kind of hard for us to make that decision to take in yet another knowing we were facing 6-700 dollars in additional bills.”

But having found this clinic, she says she'll probably continue to keep taking in strays.

“I think they have our name, they show up on our doorstep, we find them on every corner,” said Mooney about the stray animals who come into her home.

Currently the clinic charges around $100.00 to spay or neuter a pet. The goal is to eventually do enough fundraising to offer free spay and neuter options to clients who need it most.

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