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Humane society building spay-neuter veterinary clinic

By Craig Pearson, Windsor Star

1793 days ago   Article ID# 208660
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Windsor-Essex County Humane Society

WINDSOR, CANADA (Windsor Star) - The local humane society is moving closer to its dream of ending euthanasia for healthy “companion animals” by building its own spay-neuter veterinary clinic.

“This is something we really believe needs to be done,” Melanie Coulter, executive director of the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society, said Thursday. “It’s something the community wants and supports, and will help make happen.”

The humane society added the new project to its current expansion plans, upping its fundraising goal from $1.8 million to $2.4 million.

The society recently broke ground on Phase 1 — expanding its facility at 1375 Provincial Rd. in order to better care for animals. But even that almost didn’t happen, after initial fundraising proved lacklustre.

“Earlier this year, we were at the point where we needed the community to come through and contribute to the fund or we weren’t going to be able to build because we had a grant that expired at the end of the year,” Coulter said. “But we had a great response to that. We raised almost $100,000 in six weeks and the money continued to come in after that.

“That gave us the confidence that our community would help us create a new clinic.”

When complete — construction could start as early as 2010 — the new public veterinary hospital will add three or four more employees to the humane society’s staff of 34, with another veterinarian and some veterinarian technicians.

The animal hospital expansion will also include the addition of a dog park, on top of the cat and dog wing expansions already planned.

But at least one veterinarian wonders whether a humane society veterinarian hospital — which will not offer the public services beyond spaying and neutering — is the wisest use of funds.

“It’s fabulous for the community,” Dr. Manjit Jammu, of Clearwater Animal Hospital, said. “But I think they should focus on low-income people. They should help people who really need it.”

Until recently, humane societies in Ontario did not have stand-alone animal hospitals. They only allowed by the governing College of Veterinarians of Ontario to perform spay/neuter operations only on animals in their care.

Humane societies in Newmarket and Barrie recently built public clinics, with the approval of the CVO.

Jammu said building a new facility at $500,000 or more is expensive, and noted that a veterinarian will cost perhaps $100,000 a year while each vet tech might be $40,000, not to mention facility overhead.

He wondered if the humane society could have used some of the funds raised to pay for more spaying and neutering at private local animal hospitals, which he said can handle a greater load.

Coulter, however, said a new humane society clinic is the best way to reduce euthanasia of cats, dogs and rabbits, and won’t compete with private veterinary hospitals on any other procedures.

The humane society euthanised 182 dogs last year, none of them considered adoptable. But it put down 4,640 cats, a number which Coulter said has been rising the last number of years.

“The real tragedy is the cats,” Coulter said. “So we have to take steps to change that.”

Copyright 2014 Windsor Star   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1793 days ago   Article ID# 208660

Windsor-Essex County Humane Society    Visit Website

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