10/09/05 — Mobile clinic helps control pet population

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Mobile clinic helps control pet population

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on October 9, 2005 2:02 AM

A trio of animal care workers are helping stem the tide of unwanted pets in eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Beverly Shelbourn, a veterinarian, and technicians Carrie Eattock and Lisa Sager run the SNAP-NC mobile clinic that visits Goldsboro about once a month, usually on the third Thursday.

During the past five years, they have spayed and neutered hundreds of pets. Considering that officials estimate a single unspayed cat and her kittens can produce 420,000 offspring in seven years, the three women have helped keep many animals from suffering from neglect and hunger.

The self-sufficient clinic is designed to help low-income pet owners and is a non-profit organization. The money people pay to have their dog or cat fixed is what supports the clinic, along with a few grants and donations. The clinic serves pet owners in 10 counties, mostly within a two-hour drive of Raleigh.

When the clinic comes to Wayne County, it parks at the Eastgate Shopping Center near Pet Supplies "Plus." On a typical Goldsboro stop, the crew handles 30-35 pets, mostly cats. Some sterilizations can be partially reimbursed if the pet owner provides proof of financial need.

Almost all operations are by appointment only. To contact the clinic, call 919-783-7627 or write to SNAP-NC, P.O. Box 278, New Hill, N.C. 27562.

Pets must be brought to the clinic by 9 a.m. and left until the afternoon, once they have recovered. The team provides pet owners with written instructions on how to care for their animal after surgery and provides an emergency number for questions that might arise.

The clinic contains the latest in equipment and provides other services as well as spaying and neutering, including heartworm testing, feline leukemia testing, flea-and-tick control and even the insertion of a microchip for permanent identification.