The Wisconsin Humane Society on Monday introduced a first-of-its-kind high-volume spay/neuter clinic to the region.
The Wisconsin Humane Society Spay/Neuter Clinic, located in a 5,000-square-foot building at 9400 W. Lincoln Ave. in West Allis, will offer dedicated spay/neuter services to the general public with a particular focus on animals from underserved communities.
In neighborhoods across the country containing “reasonable” levels of resources for animals, the spay/neuter rate for pets is about 80 percent, according to Anne Reed, president and chief executive officer of WHS.
In Milwaukee’s central city neighborhoods, the spay/neuter rate of animals sits at about 9 percent, Reed said.
For pit bull terriers in the central city, that statistic falls to 4 percent.
Through outreach efforts led by WHS over the past three years, the organization has come into contact with about 2,500 animals and owners and swayed about half of them to pursue spay/neuter services.
“So we know that outreach makes a difference and now what’s needed in order to finish the work is the actual spay/neuter resources to make those surgeries happen,” Reed said.
By establishing an outlet for those resources in southeastern Wisconsin, WHS will dramatically improve conditions for animals in Milwaukee’s central city and address the last areas of overpopulation the region faces, she added.
The new clinic, developed under the guidance of Humane Alliance’s National Spay/Neuter Response Team, aims to perform 7,000 spay/neuter surgeries in its first year and in year three expects to conduct 14,000 surgeries. Most of those surgeries will impact pets from private households, a large number of whom WHS anticipates will not already have relations with a veterinarian. Referring clients to area vets will be an ancillary benefit of the clinic’s presence, Reed said.
Five full-time staff members, including one vet, along with one part-timer currently run the facility. A second vet will likely be added in the third year of operation, according to Reed.
Startup costs behind renovations of the space totaled about $250,000, funded privately by donations from foundations and individuals. Many of those benefactors shared in a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony held at the clinic Monday morning.
WHS will maintain its three shelters in the region – one in Milwaukee County, Ozaukee County and Racine County – and will shift all spay/neuter services from those shelters to the new site.
The organization has structured clinic fees to ensure they are affordable for the general public and sustainable for its operations, Reed said. Service fees range from $75 for cats to $105 for dogs.
For more information on the Wisconsin Humane Society Spay/Neuter Clinic, visit www.wihumane.org.