Low-cost spaying and neutering will continue

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Right now, pet owners can get their cats and dogs spayed and neutered for a discounted rate at several non profit clinics. Just today, a bill was passed in the Alabama house that could change a law requiringveterinarians to own buildings where they practice. However House Bill 141 could still impact your ability to get affordable health care for your pets.

Cats-breeding-chart-diagram1Most people who use low-cost spay and neuter services just want to do what’s right for their pets but may not have hundreds of dollars to spend. Those in favor of this bill say it will allow veterinarians to be employed by instead of having to own non-profit clinics, and it would keep essential services at a minimal cost.

“We have a Pomeranian, a Rottweiler, a Great Pyrenees and a mut.,” says Lindsey Rivers.

The full-time student at Jeff State says there’s no way she could pay full price to have them all spayed and neutered. Right now she’s here at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society to get her 1-year-old Great Pyrenees spayed.

“It’s very convenient because its right down the road,” says the college freshman. “And $20 dollars. You can’t go anywhere and get it for 20 dollars.”

David Ginn drove all the way from St. Clair County to apply for the low cost spay and neuter program.

“Right now we’ve got nine small dogs,” says the unemployed metal worker. “We’ve got three in our neighborhood that have been dropped off. We don’t know who dropped them off.”

An animal lover to the core, David hates seeing all the puppies in cages that are up for adoption, but being out of work he says its tough to take care of the ones he has at home.

“You got shots, you got taking care of the food,” says David.

And he says there’s no way he could foot the bill for a full priced spay and neuter for every animal that turns up on his land and around his neighborhood.

“I can’t afford it,” says David. “I love my dogs. I’m not going to get rid of them but if it wasn’t for them {low cost clinic} that’s probably what it would have boiled down to.”

Karen Peterlin, Executive Director of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society says Lindsey and David aren’t alone.

“People want to do the right thing,” says Peterlin. “We’ve had over 125 people here today.”

The bill still has to clear the senate and be signed by the governor. If it does, more people like those at the Humane Society today will be able to afford health care for their pets. If it doesn’t pass Karen fears for the worst.

“I see for us, the number of pets is going to grow and the number of pets surrendered to us is going to increase,” says Peterlin. “Particularly litters of kittens and puppies.”

To give you an idea of how easily the stray dog and cat population can get out of control. According to spayandneuter.org, one unaltered female cat and her offspring can produce over 2 million cats in eight years. One unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in six years.

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2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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