Mountain View Humane Clinic Battles Pet Overpopulation

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 4, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

Mountain View Humane is a state of the art clinic.

Mountain View Humane is a state of the art clinic.

The Mountain View Humane Spay/Neuter Clinics in Roanoke and Christiansburg are closing in on 20,000 spay or neuter surgeries over the past few years. The Roanoke location, named the “Sabrina and Lucky Garvin Spay Neuter Clinic” (5363 Peters Creek Road) features multiple operating rooms where dogs and cats can be spayed (female sterilization) or neutered (males).

Mountain View Humane is affiliated with the Roanoke Valley SPCA, which is undergoing a transformation some time this summer: the Animal Control side of the business, which provides the initial intake for stray animals often brought in by local police departments, which be split off from the SPCA’s authority. That will allow the shelter to focus on what it does best: finding homes for more unwanted and stray animals.

Local governments will now split the tab for the Animal Control department, located in the same building as the Roanoke Valley SPCA, just off 13th Street and Orange Avenue in Southeast Roanoke City. As for Mountain View Humane, which handles many of the sterilizations for the SPCA shelter, marketing and development director Corrie Prater says each of the two Mountain View Humane Clinics handles about 38 surgeries per day. Mountain View Humane also works with other shelters in southwest Virginia. Animal Control units “are our biggest advocates,” and even offer pet owners coupons for Mountain View services.

 “People think that pet overpopulation is something you can adopt your way out of,” said Prater, “but you just can’t.” Cats for example can start reproducing at four months old – and will mate with a brother or sister. “If you spay and neuter it just stops [the cycle].” Animals cannot be adopted from the SPCA unless they have been sterilized first.

Prater is quite the animal lover herself, with one “dysfunctional” dog, three “insane” cats – and three pet rats that were adopted from the SPCA. Yes, the shelter has all sorts of animals up for adoption, not just dogs and cats.

Animals can be sterilized at two months or a minimum of two pounds in size, according to Prater, who focuses on educating the public about services offered at Mountain View Humane – and the low cost. Spay or neutering services can cost several hundred dollars elsewhere. “I want to get the word out that we are there [and] available.” Many of the animals that come to Mountain View do not have a full time veterinarian. The clinic will provide information on where pet owners can go in the future for vaccinations and other services.

The most expensive service at Mountain View Humane is just over $70 but Prater said there is financial assistance for those who cannot afford that charge as well.  “We will help them out through private donations and grants,” said Prater. Feral cats in Montgomery County can be sterilized for as little as a dollar. A recent grant in the New River Valley will help Pulaski County residents who need assistance in paying for sterilization services.

Fees for services, grants and private donations supply the funding for Mountain View Humane. A grant from Pet Smart Charities will allow juvenile cats and dogs less than six months old to be “fixed” in June for under $20, for those pet owners that qualify for financial assistance. (The City of Salem also subsidizes the cost of spay or neutering for two animals per household.)

The Peters Creek Road clinic (opened in August 2012) currently has one full time veterinarian on board but plans to add another soon. “We’re building up clientele – that will change soon, hopefully,” noted Prater about the staffing level. She is also betting that the upcoming split taking Animal Control away from the shelter will allow the SPCA to do what it does best: helping get animals adopted. “Now each side can focus on what they’re good at.”

Prater said she loves the SPCA shelter, but her goal is to “put them out of business. I want all the animals to be spayed and neutered, where there is not that overpopulation problem.” See or call 855-HIP-SNIP for more information or to make a donation.

By Gene Marrano

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