One of the banes of the over-population epidemic in Central Florida is the lack of free, or low-cost spay/neuter clinics – not only for pet owners, but for all the rescues who are so diligently trying to win the fight against shelter killing of unwanted pets.
The No-Kill Nation reported this week that over 5 million healthy and adoptable pets are euthanized each year in the U.S. due to over population, and while some shelters want to blame pet owners for not spaying & neutering, the problem is far more complex than that.
Many rescues are working endlessly in a reactive mode to the homeless pet epidemic, saving dozens of pets every week from high-kill shelters. Many more, like Catnip Trails, provide financial aid, education, and networking to pet owners and other rescues. some are even providing the medical resources we all rely on to help make our goal of “No More Homeless Pets” a reality instead of just a dream. In order to be more pro-active than reactive, pet owners and rescues need support in the way of low-cost spay & neuter options.
In February, 2010, Cindy Evers and her daughter Amber Burgess opened Planned Pethood in Pasco County, FL offering low-cost services including: spay/neuter, vaccines, tags, micro-chipping, de-worming, and flea, tick and heart-worm preventative medications.
Although Planned Pethood does not offer full-service veterinary medical treatments, their low-cost clinic has already altered 1286 pets since their grand opening. Considering the reproduction rate of unaltered cats and dogs, Planned Pethood has potentially stopped the needless birth of almost 1 million unwanted pets over the next two years!
“When my grandfather passed away, my mom [Cindy Evers] was determined to leave us a legacy as a tribute to her dad. We have always been ‘Those People’ – the ones who pick up dumped animals and we’ve been pet-lovers all our lives”, said Burgess. “The enormous number of homeless pets offered for adoption on Petfinder.com is overwhelming, and we had to do something to help.”
Burgess, a schoolteacher by day is already making a difference in the lives of children. It’s her goal to also make a difference in the homeless pet community. “When I leave the clinic at the end of each day, I feel like I’ve fought the good fight.” Planned Pethood is a privately owned clinic who employs veterinarians that work on a rotation schedule and offer spay/neuter surgeries on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The best part is that customers don’t have to meet any low-income requirements, nor live in Pasco County to use their services. Planned Pethood is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Surgeries are scheduled by appointment only, and the walk-in shot clinic is open from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
People like Evers & Burgess, and their commitment to go over & above to stop the unwanted reproduction of pets gives us all hope that we will reach our goal of “No More Homeless Pets.”
Written By: Joan Alexander