Back in 2008, we blogged about Spaycentral, a charity set up to create the GTA’s first high-volume spay/neuter clinic available to the public. Operating out of the Newmarket OSPCA facility, the clinic performs spay/neuter surgery for dogs and cats In its first year, the Newmarket clinic performed 5,000 spay/neuter surgeries. A similar facility has been opened in Barrie, and a third is in the works for St. Catharines. Toronto Animal Services has also just opened a spay/neuter clinic in Scarborough which is available to rescue organizations.
Toronto Humane Society is now putting plans together for a similar high-volume Toronto City Humane Alliance Clinic, to be located at its River Street headquarters.
One in two families in the GTA have pets, and although most pet owners would like to act responsibly, many lower-income families are not aware that they need to shop around for spay/neuter services. As a result, every animal shelter in the GTA is bursting at the seams with unwanted cats and dogs. In addition to unwanted pets, there are thousands of stray cats living miserable, unhealthy lives on the streets of Toronto and reproducing freely. Thousands of these animals are killed each year simply because they are homeless. This situation also puts a strain on Toronto Animal Services.
In the US, the introduction of high-volume spay/neuter clinics has slashed the number of unwanted animals surrendered to shelters and reduced the burden on animal control.
The program began in the U.S. and was created by Humane Alliance in North Carolina. This is a successful model with over 60 clinics already opened, and supported by PetSmart Charities.
Humane Alliance works with organizations like Toronto Humane Society to support and coach the development of clinics. In turn, Toronto Humane Society is developing a value-added relationship with Toronto Animal Services so that this clinic will provide benefits to the community.
But in order to open this clinic, Toronto Humane Society needs to raise $200,000 to cover building alterations, equipment, and start-up veterinary salaries and supplies. Once the clinic is open, it will be a sustainable, self-financing business.
Watch the Toronto Humane Society website for more information about the clinic’s plans and progress, and how to donate to this very worthy cause.