Companion Animal Clinic of the Sandhills Foundation Your Community Solution to Pet Overpopulation!
The Pressing Problem:
The mission of the Companion Animal Clinic of the Sandhills Foundation (CAC) is:
“… to provide affordable spay/neuter services for companion animals to address pet overpopulation in central North Carolina.”
Animal control intake numbers escalate on average by 13% yearly. The consequence is a constant increase in the number of euthanized adoptable dogs and cats. The more rural and less affluent counties exhibit larger intake at animal control facilities and experience significantly higher euthanasia rates. Four of the counties in the CAC Foundation area fall into the lowest percentile in the State in their respective populations living at or below the poverty level. The benefits from affordable spay/neuter programs are proven in many areas of the U.S. These statistics provide support that affordable spay/neuter both helps in reducing companion animal overpopulation and saves communities valuable tax dollars. In our operating area, counties spend from two to three times the cost of a spay/neuter to euthanize a companion animal because there are simply not enough adoption options to address the increasingly large numbers of animals surrendered to animal control agencies.
An Effective Solution:
To address the insidious problem of near geometric growth in companion animal euthanasia, the founders of CAC met and planned during 2004‐2005 with local veterinary practitioners and veterinary academic experts and practitioners from the College of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University to assess and determine the needs for an affordable spay/neuter veterinary operation in this area. After careful research, operational planning and financial analysis, application was made to the State of North Carolina and the Internal Revenue Service to issue charitable corporation status to the CACF. In 2005, 501c3 status was granted to the CAC Foundation by the Internal Revenue Service to function as an organization that supports the provision of low cost spays, neuters and ancillary activities. An affiliation with the Humane Alliance in Asheville and the spay/neuter clinics through the College of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University under the direction of Dr. Kelli Ferris, provided knowledge and understanding of the operational needs for such a facility. An anonymous donor provided a rent free facility for the clinic which provided the impetus to undertake a successful campaign that provided funding for renovation and equipping the building as a special purpose veterinary clinic dedicated to spay and neuter. The 2005‐2008 capital campaign not only raised money for renovations and equipment but it also provided resources to fund the initial year of operations. Fund‐raising events were held during the period: in 2006 at the Pinehurst Fair Barn; in 2007 at the Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic of the Sandhills (the “SNVC”) grand opening in Vass; and in 2008 at the Pinehurst Fair Barn. With individual canvassing of concerned citizens, personal donations by the Board of Directors, a mail campaign, and private agency grants, the SPVC opened early 2008.
The Promising Results:
In its first year of operation, the SNVC performed over 4,200 spay or neuter surgeries for the initial nine county service area. By the end of 2008, the SNVC was performing at the rate of over 40 surgeries a day for individuals and groups from all nine counties. By December 2012, 30,000 spay/neuter surgeries were provided at the SNVC and the coverage area expanded from nine counties to eleven counties in Central NC.
It costs substantially more to spay or neuter than the service fee SNVC charges. The SNVC operates at a serious cash loss. Fortunately, the CAC Foundation provides funds to subsidize the SNVC. The SNVC provides services for animal welfare groups, county animal control agencies, and individual pet owners who cannot afford a private veterinarian’s spay or neuter services. An average spay costs about $110.00 and an average neuter costs around $60.00 to perform. The SNVC charges substantially less than these costs so that the mission of reducing euthanasia of companion animals can be met. Animal control facilities that utilize the SNVC report a decrease in intake numbers. It will still take several years to drastically reduce animal over‐population in the operating area, but after four years there is already a recognizable impact.
Over 37,000 spay/neuter surgeries have been provided since the SNVC opened with expectation to continue our average of 30-40 spay/neuter operations a day. As more surgeries are provided there are continued demands for equipment replacement, increased personnel, and continued training for staff. The SNVC is witnessing expanded demand as citizens, who could not otherwise afford this surgery, elect to spay/neuter their pets. Close to 65% of all surgeries performed at the Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic are individually owned dogs and cats. Additionally, CACF purchased the Spay Neuter Clinic building at 5071 USHWY#1, Vass, NC in December 2012 as our free lease expired. We are excited to continue the mission of affordable spay/neuter for the eleven county service area of North Carolina.
Please help us continue to provide this most important community service and make Central part of North Carolina a truly responsible place for dogs and cats.
All money donated to the CAC Foundation goes to support the Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic and is fully tax deductable. The Foundation operates under the guidance of a totally volunteer board. All monies raised are retained locally.
Deborah Wilson, CACF Board of Directors
SNVC Veterinary Clinic - 5071 US Highway 1 - Vass, NC 910-692-FIXX