By Jan Worth-Nelson
The East Side of Flint may have fewer unwanted kittens and puppies to contend with soon, following a free spaying and neutering clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday at the Franklin Avenue Mission, 2210 N. Franklin Ave.
A mobile surgical unit provided by All About Animals, a nonprofit rescue clinic, will be staffed with 10 veterinary technicians supervised by a veterinarian, according to Edith Campbell, founder of the nonprofit volunteer group Pets in Peril (PIP), who are sponsoring the event.
The event was made possible by the late Tammy Bice, a Grand Blanc police officer who died tragically in November, Campbell said. Bice had initiated service to the East Side, Campbell said, and always wanted to do such an event, but PIP could not afford it. At her death, memorial contributions were accumulated that made it possible–at $80 per dog, $40 per cat.
Pet owners will drop their pets off at 8 a.m. and pick them up after the recovery period by 4.
All pets to be spayed or neutered must have attended a pet clinic last weekend, at which 350 shots were given to about 200 dogs and cats.
The pet clinics are part of a larger outreach effort by Pets in Peril to try to cut down on pet reproduction and make the community safer for both pets and their owners and neighbors, Campbell said.
“The Eastside is one of the neediest parts of the city, so we want to do what we can to help,” Campbell said. “The trouble in Flint is serious — the overpopulation of dogs is a major problem” along with dogs being used by drug dealers and in dog fighting.
Spaying (the term for a female) and neutering (for a male) have many benefits, said Campbell, a Mott Park resident. In addition to preventing reproduction, “fixed” animals are healthier, have less cancer, live longer, and are less aggressive.
One of Campbell’s fans and supporters in the Pets in Peril campaign is Mike Herriman, owner of Vern’s Collision on Davison Road and the neighborhood watch chair of the College Cultural Neighborhood Association.
“If you’ve got a family trying to decide whether to put food on the table or in the dog bowl, then the dog loses out or is turned loose because the family can’t afford it,” Herriman, a dog owner himself, says. “It’s gruesome, but some of the cats and dogs in that kind of situation are sold to be used for bait for dogfighting.”
Herriman says the recent clinics are “part of the puzzle” in solving some community problems–“all the things that make a community safe and comfortable, that make us happy to live here.” He notes that sometimes pets will wander off in search of a mate and can get into trouble trying to get to a female in heat. The dogs and even people can be hurt in the process.
“Getting your pet spayed or neutered means you’ll have a better chance that you’ll keep your pet,” he said.
The CCNA recently has been grappling with fallout from when a beagle on Kensington was attacked and severely injured by a neighbor’s pit bulls. The case continues in court.
Addressing pet problems is part of the challenge of keeping a neighborhood safe and even attracting businesses, he said.
“If you’re having to worry about fighting dogs next door, how much longer do you think that’s person’s going to stay in the neighborhood? Would she be comfortable inviting family and friends over with the risk they’ll be attacked?
“And how do you talk a business into coming to town when the residents are afraid to step out the door when some basic things like this are going on?” he adds.
Pets in Peril also provides free dog and cat food for the pets of those in need–delivered by volunteers. Donations of cash, dog or cat food, straw or cages are welcome. More information is available at petsinperil.org or by calling (810) 635-9649.
Banner image provided by Pets in Peril.
EVM Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.