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    The Spay/Neuter Coalition of Louisville has received a $400,000 grant that will allow them to fund a mobile veterinary clinic that will provide low cost and free spay/neuter services and basic medical care for dogs and cats in underserved parts of the city -- South and West Louisville in particular.

    The grant comes from the Renau Foundation, established by the late Ken Renau to fund the projects that were dear to him -- including those that benefit companion animals in Metro Louisville. Any additional costs, such as the cost of the actual services, will be covered by grants and community donations.

    According to Heather Dougherty, the Founder and Director of the Spay/Neuter Coalition of Louisville, this project has been in the works since she started rescuing animals three years ago with Hand In Paw, her rescue organization for pregnant dogs and their pups.

    “If people spayed and neutered, this wouldn’t be a problem. There are so many resources out there, but if they don’t have the transportation to get their animals there, then it doesn’t matter how many resources are there.”

    Hand-In-Paw rescued about 150 dogs in 2013 and the numbers have gone up significantly in 2014, “It will be much easier if we are in their backyard, versus them having to transport the animal. We’ve learned that the people in the underserved areas, it’s not that they don’t care about their animals, they just don’t have the resources, whether it be money, or transportation, or even knowledge.”

    Local animal shelter providers have said that this project will bring a valuable service to Louisville’s growing animal problem. Unwanted pets are a significant problem in the Metro area, with shelters unable to house all of the strays that they receive.

    “In Louisville, we have seen a 40 percent drop in the number of animals surrendered to the Kentucky Human Society and Louisville Metro Animal Services since KHS’s high-quality, donor-subsidized S.N.I.P. Clinic opened in 2007,” said Lori Redmon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society, “But lack of transportation can be a barrier to access veterinary services. We are thrilled that this new mobile spay/neuter clinic will help break down that barrier and ensure that even more pets in our community get the help they need -- leading to fewer unwanted animals.”

    This new mobile clinic will be outfitted with two operating tables, an x-ray machine, a dental scaler, polisher and drill, anesthesia machines and blood work equipment. Not only will the clinic offer spay and neuter services, but will bring routine preventative care to pets who may not get it otherwise.

    The mobile unit is being custom built by La Boit Specialty Vehicles, the company behind not only those used by the Red Cross, blood banks and law enforcement agencies, but also the outfitted minivan used by the track vet at Churchill Downs. The vehicle will be finished and in operation by early 2015.

     

    Photo courtesy of Hand-In-Paw Rescue.

     

    Michelle Eigenheer's picture

    About Michelle Eigenheer

    A Louisville transplant beginning to appreciate all the city's small things.

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