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Officials encourage responsible pet stewardship

Low-cost spay, neuter clinics available

Area animal control officials are reminding pet owners about low-cost sterilization clinics available to them — a measure they hope will pare down the local cat and dog populations.

“In Clayton County, historically, we have led the state in animal euthanizations. And the reason is that we don’t have that many responsible pet owners,” said Capt. Mark Thompson, shelter director of the Clayton County Police Animal Control Center.

Thompson said the center offers a low-cost sterilization clinic once a month, to those who make reservations. The objective, he said, is to discourage population growth among stray and lost pets.

“Normally, we’re full at least a week before the sterilization clinic begins,” he said. “We average about 15 dogs and 10 cats on each sterilization date.”

The animal control center hosted its latest clinic on Wednesday, and plans to conduct its next clinic in mid-January.

Thompson said reservations for the upcoming clinic must be made in person at the center, located at 1396 Government Circle in Jonesboro. Reservations require a $20 deposit, payable with cash or check only.

The police captain said fees for spaying and neutering are based on the weight of the animal. In order to learn more about costs, pet owners should contact the Clayton County Police Animal Control Center at (770) 477-3684, or visit the Facebook page, entitled “Clayton County Animal Control.”

Residents in Henry County may contact the Henry County Animal Care and Control Department, at (770) 288-7387, to make an appointment for its sterilization clinic, according to Vince Farah, Henry’s animal care and control coordinator.

Farah noted that the clinic is held twice monthly — the second and last Tuesday of each month — at the department, located at 527 Hampton St., in McDonough. He encourages all pet owners to consider spaying and neutering their pets.

“Having an animal spayed or neutered keeps them from wandering off as much, and it helps control the pet population, and keeps the number of diseases down,” said Farah, adding that a Henry County ordinance allows only four animals per homestead. Anything more must be a kennel.

Farah said the department offers sterilizations relatively inexpensively. He said the cost for dogs is $65 for spaying, and $60 for neuters. Cat spaying is $55, and cat neutering is $35. To learn more, visit the Henry County Animal Care and Control Department’s web site at www.hcacc.org.

Additional assistance will be provided by the H.E.L.P. Spay Neuter Clinic, based in Coweta County, Ga. The clinic, whose mission is to provide a non-lethal solution to pet over-population, plans to provide mobile services to the Southern Crescent region.

The clinic’s transport van, known as “The Snip Ship,” plans to meet pet owners in Spalding, Butts, Henry and Pike counties in the back parking lot at Spalding County Animal Shelter, 208 Justice Blvd., in Griffin, Ga., to transport pets to the surgical hospital in Newnan, Ga. The van will be available at 9 a.m., on Jan. 3, Jan. 16, and Jan. 30.

Organizers said pets should be returned to Spalding County Animal Shelter at 11:30 a.m., on the morning after surgery. Appointments are required. H.E.L.P. accepts cash, checks, or pet owners may call in a credit card to the clinic on the day of their surgery.

Spaying for female dogs is between $70 and $80; neutering for male dogs is between $60 and $70; spaying for female cats is $55; and neutering for male cats is $45.

Each pet must have a rabies vaccination, or bring proof showing the pet has received one within the last year. If not current on rabies, the pet may receive the vaccine on the day of surgery. Additional vaccinations are available for $10 each.

For December or January appointments, scheduled by Dec. 23. All surgery packages include free vaccines for dogs and cats (DHPP & Rabies for dogs, FVRCP & Rabies for cats). It represents a $20 value. There is no extra charge for “in heat” or pregnant cats or dogs.

To schedule an appointment, or for more information, contact Cindy Leopard at (770) 304-7912.

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