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Sun., Jul. 13
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Spay/Neuter/Now extends low-cost services to dogs

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The nation’s stagnant economy has affected several facets of daily life, including the pet population.

Nonprofit organization Spay/Neuter/ Now, which has been working to curb the pet population by providing low-cost spaying and neutering to cats since 1994, has extended its services to dogs.

The group held its first clinic Sunday at the St. Lawrence Valley Society of Prevention to Cruelty of Animals, 6178 Route 68.

“I’ve been up since 3 a.m. making sure everything was ready,” Veterinarian and SNN General Manager Dr. Kevin T. Mace said Sunday. Mr. Mace prepped 13 dogs and 20 cats.

The decision to add dogs was an easy one, according to Mr. Mace. Average costs range from $250 to $400 for pediatric canine spay, he said.

“Research shows low-income clients cannot afford that and the result is that they do not spay their dogs,” Mr. Mace said. “Low-income clients are not taking their animals to veterinarians for basic care or even vaccinations, let alone spaying and neutering.”

Of 1,921 cats sterilized in the SNN mobile clinic from 2011 to 2012, 90 percent required rabies vaccinations and over 96 percent required distemper vaccinations, Mr. Mace said. Less than 5 percent of this population had any regular veterinary care.

By partnering with local shelters, SNN provides low-cost spaying and neutering services. Dog owners who brought their dogs to the shelter Sunday paid $50 and received a $10 discount from the SPCA.

In 2012, SNN performed 1,300 sterilization surgeries to cats. The organization has done over 13,000 such procedures since its founding. The long-standing voucher program, which provided financial aid by reducing the overall price at participating veterinary clinics began in 1994, was recently ended.

SNN founder Beatrice D. “Bea” Schemerhorn said spaying and neutering reduces the number of stray animals.

“It is estimated that for every human being, there are 13 dogs and 45 cats born,” she said. “Our communities can’t support that kind of growth.”

The organization can be contacted at 324-5969 or spaynetuernow@yahoo.com.

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