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Veterinarians that help in Chatham County

By Christine Casey
Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - I'd like to add to the discussion on vets that help with stray animals in Chatham County. During the fours years that I have volunteered with Chatham Animal Rescue and Education (CARE), we have received many tens of thousands of dollars worth of discounted veterinary care for our foster animals from several Chatham County vets, as well as much free advice and moral support.

Vets are well aware of the county's pet overpopulation problem and many do what they can to help. Like anyone running a business however, there is only so much that they can do in terms of reduced cost or free care.

For folks dealing with animals that need to be spayed or neutered, there are several reduced-cost and low-cost options in Chatham County. Reduced-cost mobile clinics (POP;, 919-942-2250 and SNAP;, 919-783-7627) are able to offer spay/neuter surgery at a reduced cost compared to a full- service veterinary hospital because that is all they do. Full- service vets must cover the costs of a building, staff, laboratory, pharmacy, dental and x-ray equipment, etc.

For folks with lower incomes, CARE's spay/neuter clinics are being held again in 2007. The March 17 clinic is full; to apply for future clinics call 542-5757, leave your mailing address, and ask to be sent an application ($40,000 annual household income limit). Also check the Chatlist and local media for announcements of future clinics.

SNAP has a low-income program (919-783-7627), and the county animal shelter sometimes has state funds for low-income assistance as well ($30,000 annual household income limit).

For feral cats, contact Operation Catnip (, 919-779-7247). This monthly spay/neuter clinic at the NCSU vet school is free, although donations are welcome. All cats must come in traps, which they have available for loan.

It is the role of Animal Control to take the lead in providing education and options for curbing the county's pet overpopulation problem and they have made some progress in this area. For example, most cats adopted from the shelter are now spayed or neutered prior to adoption. They are also able to provide a small number of free spay/neuter surgeries to low-income pet owners through the I CARE program that is funded by the state's specialty license plate. As with many things, money stands in the way of more action. Funds requested last year by Animal Control from the county for a spay/ neuter program were not approved.

The ultimate responsibility, though, is with the pet owner. If you have a pet, have it spayed or neutered. Not only will this reduce overpopulation, it will also improved the animal's health and behavior.

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Veterinarians that help in Chatham County

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