Spay/neuter clinic serves more than 60 pets

By Aubry Buzek
Staff Writer
abuzek@cnjonline.com
Clovis cat “Tom-Tom” woke up to a surprise Saturday: a missing set of organs.

But this is a happy story, because Tom-Tom the former tomcat was a patient at the low-cost spay and neuter clinic organized by a local animal rescue this weekend at 3221 Axtell in Clovis.

Staff photo: Aubry Buzek Beth Jones, a vet tech in training and volunteer at Soul Dog Rescue, cleaned the cat “Tom Tom” after his neuter surgery Saturday.

Staff photo: Aubry Buzek
Beth Jones, a vet tech in training and volunteer at Soul Dog Rescue, cleaned the cat “Tom Tom” after his neuter surgery Saturday.

Although it’s impossible to know how the cat feels about the situation, the bright side for animal lovers is that by neutering him, non-profit organizations Shooke Unleashed of Clovis and Portales and Colorado-based Soul Dog may have helped prevent many litters of unwanted critters.

Shooke Unleashed founder Summer Hooke said the groups offered low-cost spay and neuter surgery by appointment to the owners of more than 60 cats and dogs this weekend.

Hooke said she planned the event for several months, coordinating the clinic with Soul Dog as well as applying for proper licensing and building inspections to make it happen.

Shelby Davis, the director of Soul Dog, said the non-profit’s mission is to perform low-cost spay and neuter clinics in underserved areas with high poverty rates, high euthanasia rates, and high costs of spay and neuter surgery charged by local vets.

Davis said Clovis and Portales are “always at the top of the list” in studies of state animal shelter euthanasia rates.

Hooke said Clovis residents desperate for help regularly contact her. She said they don’t want their animals reproducing, but they simply cannot afford the surgery to have them fixed.

The average cost of spay and neuter surgery in Clovis is $150 to $250, according to Gina Nunez, a volunteer with Shooke Unleashed.

By bringing in Soul Dog, the organizations were able to offer high-need residents the surgery for a $20 donation.

“We try to give people options,” Nunez said. “Otherwise the (stray and unwanted animal) problem won’t get better.”

Katie Hynes, a vet tech in training with Soul Dog, said preventing unwanted reproduction isn’t the only benefit to fixing an animal. She said male animals may become less aggressive and have less tendencies to run away, and it prevents the occurrence of testicular and prostate cancer.

Even as the volunteers worked to get a large number of animals fixed over the weekend, it became clear their job was far from over.

Hooke on Saturday received a picture of an unwanted animal the rescue needed to pick up. It was a malnourished female dog and her litter of three-week old puppies.

Hooke said in order to help the most animals they can, “It’s so important to work fast and hard.”
Shooke Unleashed will host another low-cost spay and neuter clinic in two months. Find them at:
http://shookeunleashed
animalrescue.org and
www.souldog.org