Wisconsin Humane Society to open Milwaukee’s first high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is excited to share that the doors of the Wisconsin Humane Society Spay/Neuter Clinic will open in June 2015. The focus of the clinic will be to provide high-quality, low-cost sterilization surgery to the general public, with a special focus on animals living in underserved areas. The goal for the first year of operation is to perform 6,000 surgeries.
“We are convinced that this is the single program with the highest potential to save animals in our region,” said Anne Reed, president and CEO of WHS. “Animal overpopulation has fallen in many areas of Milwaukee and the United States, but remains a serious issue in communities that lack resources, and a significant number of dogs and cats coming into our local animal welfare agencies are from these communities.”
Milwaukee is one of the only major metropolitan communities with no high-volume spay/neuter clinic, and there is substantial need for this resource.
“At WHS, we routinely find that surrendered animals are seldom sterilized, and in the 53206 zip code, the spay/neuter rate is just 8%,” said Dr. Nancy Weiss, senior director of veterinary services at WHS. “We know that there are people in our community who want their animals sterilized, but are not able to afford spay/neuter services.”
Dr. Weiss leads a team of six full-time veterinarians at WHS with a combined 80 years of veterinary medicine experience. Their team performed more than 7,000 spay/neuter surgeries for shelter and public animals in 2013. WHS has offered the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than a decade, but clients often have to wait several weeks or even months to get an appointment due to high demand and limited staff and surgical space.
The organization is looking at existing properties within a six-mile radius of their Milwaukee Campus on 45th & Wisconsin, with good access to the transit system and ample parking. Start-up costs for the project are expected to be between $250,000 and $300,000, which the organization is raising from private, corporate and foundation donors.
WHS is being mentored for the project by Humane Alliance’s National Spay/Neuter Response Team (NSNRT), a training program based in North Carolina that helps other organizations learn how to open and operate spay/neuter clinics in their communities. Humane Alliance has mentored about 130 other sites, and those clinics have spayed or neutered 3.8 million animals since 2006.
Spaying or neutering cats and dogs reduces animal overpopulation and animal homelessness. It can also reduce some behavior issues and decreases the desire of animals to roam. In addition, altered animals live longer than their unaltered counterparts, and are protected from certain types of cancer.
For more information on the WHS Spay/Neuter Clinic, please visit wihumane.org or view the YouTube video at http://youtu.be/4bsnWvz4C6w.