Habersham’s free community pet clinic serves 240 pets

Georgia, a four month old pit bull awaited her turn for the free pet clinic Saturday. (Jerry Neace/NowHabersham.com)

Habersham County Animal Care and Control (HCACC) hosted another Free Community Pet Clinic for Habersham County residents, just in time for the holidays.

Clinic served 240 pets

The Free Clinic was held at the Habersham County Fairgrounds in Clarkesville on December 16 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. HCACC Director Madi Nix stated that the free pet clinic served 240 pets in three hours and received 125 applications for spay/neuter. Nix recognized that more than half of the pets served applied for spay/neutering which demonstrates the need for the service in the county.

During the event, volunteers administered free basic veterinary services for cats and dogs. Those services included rabies shots, DappV (dog) and HCP (cat) vaccines, flea treatment, microchips, and applications for spay/neuter vouchers.

Those pet owners who received the golden ticket vouchers can redeem them at Planned Pethood of Georgia in Duluth by appointment.

Several vehicles line up for the free pet clinic Saturday at the Habersham County fairgrounds. (Jerry Neace/NowHabersham)

Funding through donations

The clinic was funded through donations to HCACC, a generous donation from the Allen Family, and Planned Pethood of Georgia.

Also available free to pet owners at the clinic were pet food, collars, leashes, and treats, all donated by the Atlanta Humane Society.

Nix stated, “The costs have gone up drastically on our end this year, not only to put on this event but also for the spay/neuter. We’re going through an application process to make sure that we’re reaching the right family.”

Selection process

Mert was a real trooper as he received his vaccine at the free pet clinic Saturday. (Jerry Neace/NowHabersham.com)

She explains that Animal Control has a selection process during the year that leads pet owners in need to the event. Animal Control officers respond to calls where a pet owner hasn’t gotten their pet vaccinated. The officers have the option to write the owner a citation or they may give the owner a “golden ticket” where the pet can receive the vaccinations for free, based on need.

Habersham County residents Linda Sullens and Teresa Coffee rode together to bring their pets to the free clinic. Both are fans of the clinic. Both stated, “We love it.” Sullens added, “Absolutely the best thing in the world.” Coffee stated, “ It helps people like us.”

Habersham County resident Dot Ellis and her husband brought their two dogs to the free clinic. Ellis stated, “It helps us financially. It’s a financial savings for us. We’re both on a fixed income.”

Free or low-cost veterinarian care

Director of Outreach for Planned Pethood Tanya Weaver explained that the partnership with HCACC was done to provide free or low-cost veterinarian care to the community to reduce overcrowding in the animal shelter.

Many people, especially the elderly, surrender their pets to the animal shelter because they can’t afford to take their pets to a veterinarian.

The Planned Pethood van came equipped to provide vaccines and microchips for pets at the free pet clinic on Saturday morning at the Habersham County fairgrounds. (Jerry Neace/NowHabersham.com)
The Grinch attempts to “steal” a bag of dog food during the free pet clinic on Saturday. (Jerry Neace/NowHabersham.com)

Microchipping for pets

One facet she explained was providing free microchipping for pets. Should a pet be picked up by animal control, the pet can quickly be returned to the owner without taking space in the shelter. Providing spay and neutering services also helps with reducing the overcrowding pressures at the animal shelter.

With the Grinch, elves, and a polar bear on hand, HCACC staff dressed in festive attire for the event to add a smile to patrons of the free clinic. Nix stated that doing that adds a bit of entertainment and takes the boredom out of waiting.

HCACC staff dress in festive attire to provide entertainment and a smile to patrons of the free pet clinic. (HCACC Madi Nix)
Print Friendly, PDF & Email