Registration for spay/neuter clinic set for Thursday

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Registration for Tucumcari’s 2008 Spay/Neuter Clinic will begin Thursday at City Hall.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelters mobile van will be at Fire Station #1 123 N. Adams on May 24 and 25 to perform the operations.
The service is available to all residents of Tucumcari but space is limited so early registration is encouraged, according to Robert Ciolli, coordinator of the event.

Also, anyone wishing to help at the clinic can also sign up on the volunteer list at City Hall, Ciolli said.

The Tucumcari City Commission recently OK’d $4,000 to support the clinic’s visit to the city.

“Spaying or neutering your pets is the easiest way to reduce the number of unwanted animals destroyed in our shelter every year” Ciolli said.
Last year, through funding from Animal Protection New Mexico, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, and generous donors in Albuqueque a Spay/Neuter Clinic was held at the Del Norte Center, Ciolli said.

“Since this had never been done here before, we knew there was a need, but weren’t really sure what the response would be,” he said.
“Once we got started it sort of took off by itself. In about four days we had almost 80 applications for only 25 spots, so we ended up turning a lot of people away.”

Because of the demand last year Ciolli sought funding to bring the clinic back this year.

While some may consider it waste of taxpayer money, Ciolli said there is a payoff in future savings.

Government subsidized spay/neuter clinics have been in every major city in the U.S. since Santa Barbara, Calif., opened the first one back in 1975, Ciolli said.

Studies have show that communities that support these programs can reduce their animal shelters admission and euthanasia rates by 50 percent to 80 percent over a 10-year period. In that same time, for every dollar that is invested in spay/neuter clinics, taxpayers saved an average of $18.72 in future animal control costs, he said.

Ciolli estimates that the $4,000 that the city invests this year could save the city almost $75,000.

By his calculations, the 14 cats and 13 dogs that were spayed or neutered last year, if left alone and allowed to breed, would between them and their offspring give birth to an additonal 159,000 dogs and 165,000 cats that could now be roaming the streets.
At this year’s clinic there will only be between 50-60 openings.

Pets can be accepted from 4 months to 5 years old, but no pregnant animals can be accepted, Ciolli said.

Last year’s clinic only asked for donations, but this year’s clinic will ask for a co-pay, Ciolli said.

Because the program is being funded by the city, it is only open to Tucumcari residents.

Clinic fees, including
vaccinations and rabies shot:

Male cat $10
Female cat $20
Male dog $20
Female dog $30