Spay and Neuter Clinic Under Political Attack

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While the phrase “spay and neuter your pets” is not new to anyone’s ears, there are still between 4-5 million animals that are euthanized each year across America. That number is down drastically from previous decades, when over 20 million dogs and cats were killed in U.S. Shelters. While countless people help spread this message, it really boils down to pet owners taking their pets to the vet to have the surgeries performed, and having the money to pay the bill.

While it shouldn’t be about politics, sometimes it is. Remind Alabama’s State Board it’s about the animals, and please take a moment to sign the petition and stay up to date HERE.

Low cost spay and neuter clinics have made a world of difference to our nation’s dog and cat overpopulation problem. Many vet hospitals charge an arm and a leg to spay and neuter a pet, and many of us rely on these clinics, especially in today’s economic condition. This is a good thing for people and the pets, right?

Surprisingly enough (and disappointingly) the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is actively trying to shut down local spay/neuter clinics. Their claim? The spay/neuter clinic is in violation of Alabama code because it isn’t owned by a veterinarian.

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I decided to ask a vet what is going on with this seemingly crazy situation.  Dr. Kelly Johnson,  a veterinarian that performs surgeries at Alabama Spay/Neuter explains,

“In early June we received a certified letter from The Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners [ASBVME] 
stating that we are operating in violation of code and must cease operations. We weren’t give prior notice – just the letter out of the blue.”

The public is largely speculating that this attack is believed to be a politically and monetarily motivated attack on the clinic, led by a few of the board members who do not subscribe to the clinic’s mission for one reason or another.  We can all imagine what that “another” might be, as the clinic’s mission is of course to reduce unnecessary euthanasia and relieve animal overpopulation by providing a low cost alternative therefore improving animal welfare.  Hard to not support if you have morals or ethics IMO.

In accordance with state law, Dr. William Weber provides medical management for the practice and pays the veterinarians.  He is only a couple of blocks away at his full service hospital should he be needed.  The clinic owns the equipment and pays the support staff.

Until June 9th, this was all sanctioned by the state.

They are not a full-service clinic – surgeries and shots only, not dissimilar to an expanded version of the vaccine clinics that are prolific across the nation. Many clients that come to the clinic own animals that have never taken their pets to a veterinarian and certainly never get spayed or neutered.

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ASBVME executive director, Tammy Wallace, who signed the cease and desist letter, and members of the board refuse to respond to the public’s inquiries, stating “because this is a pending case, there will be no comment.”

Dr. Johnson adds, “it will take more than a vague letter to stop us. We will fight this for the animals.”

To date, Alabama Spay/Neuter has performed approximately 34,000 surgeries and counting since they opened three years ago. Considering the average unaltered dog or cat easily give birth to 200 puppies or kittens in their lifetime, Alabama Spay/Neuter has prevented an easy 6 million pets from entering our strained pet population. That is what I call BEING the change in the system.

If you would like to follow the story, you can keep up to date at the Alabama Spay / Neuter facebook page.

Cheers to vets with ethical, and not political, goals,

Dr. Jed

Dr. Jed, ask a vet

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