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Clinic’s milestone is worth celebrating

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Fix A Friend Spay Neuter Clinic just reached a significant milestone in its brief history by performing its 1,000th spay/neuter procedure. The reduced-cost pet surgical alteration facility at 6033 Ocean Highway East in Winnabow only opened to the public Aug. 26.

Achieving this milestone speaks to the need Brunswick County has had for such a clinic. It is worth celebrating because it means fewer pets will find their way into shelters, euthanized, or left to fend for themselves in the wild, where they are at risk of getting and spreading disease and meeting a violent end. Remember, pets are meant to be companion animals, and humans are the ultimate source of the pet overpopulation problem. Spaying and neutering is one of the keys toward achieving the goal of no more homeless pets and no more kill shelters.

The clinic operates with the mission to “wage war against pet overpopulation” by providing more affordable spay/neuter services and to help offset the euthanasia rate in animal shelters.

The animals that typically end up in shelters get there through no fault of their own. They get there because people cannot afford to keep them. The people cannot pay for their health care, or they have housing restrictions that will not allow them to have another pet, or they do not want to invest the time and expense it would take to resolve real (or perceived) behavioral problems, or they cruelly treat pets as disposable property. Many of the people are good Samaritans who have found or rescued animals they believe deserve a chance at finding a loving, permanent home.

The reality is, however, there are not enough homes for all those pets. Many of them who are healthy and could have been faithful family members will die instead.

Fix A Friend offers a safe, effective way to make sure fewer pets face that fate. Its services are limited to spaying or neutering cats and dogs and administering state-required rabies and distemper vaccinations. The services are available to local rescue groups and members of the public — essentially, for any pet in need of them.

Fees start at $35 to surgically alter and administer shots to a community cat and go up to $90 to spay or neuter a dog weighing more than 65 pounds.

The clinic is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

Appointments for all pets must be made in advance by calling (910) 253-8161.