Nevada Humane Society Carson City Center’s new low-cost spay and neuter clinic has hit the ground running.
The clinic, open a month now, is booked up weeks in advance, although Arthur Westbrook, shelter director, encourages people to call in case appointments open.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said Westbrook.
The clinic offers spay and neutering for dogs on Mondays and Thursdays and for cats on Fridays.
The cost to spay a dog ranges from $90-$155 and to neuter from $70-$120, both depending on the dog’s weight, and for cats $35 to neuter and $55 to spay.
Also on Fridays from 3-5 p.m. the clinic offers low-cost vaccinations.
Tuesdays are reserved for the shelter’s TNR or trap, neuter, return program for feral cats.
Traps for the cats can be picked up at the shelter for a $70 deposit refunded when the traps are returned.
That, too, is a busy program, each week taking in an average of 25 cats, which are spayed or neutered and a notch clipped in an ear to indicate it. They’re then returned to where they were found.
“We have dedicated TNR people in the community,” said Westbrook.
The clinic has two full-time veterinarians, a vet tech and vet assistant. It’s equipped with two wet tables to prep the animals for surgery and two operating tables.
The clinic also spays and neuters shelter animals before they’re adopted out and handles emergency services as needed.
“We can handle pretty much anything and we do have vets on call,” said Westbrook.
The main equipment missing is a an X-ray machine, which means animals are sometimes referred to emergency vets. The shelter is working on a grant to acquire a machine, said Westbrook.
The clinic also cooperates with Carson Animal Services Initiative, better known as CASI, which offers its own low-cost spay and neuter program through local vets called Critter Fixer.
Pet owners must qualify for both the shelter’s and CASI’s low-cost programs, but the qualifications vary so the shelter refers people to CASI if they can’t afford the clinic and would qualify for Critter Fixer.
“And it goes both ways. If someone doesn’t qualify for CASI’s program, CASI refers them to us. It’s happened a couple of times,” said Westbrook.
For information about the shelter’s clinic or to make an appointment, call the shelter at 887-2171. The shelter is located at 549 Airport Road.