On the weekend of March 18 and 19, 2017, the inside of the Hydration Station transformed into a temporary triage center and registration desk for a traveling veterinary clinic. Dedicated volunteers as well as neighboring and local animal rescues, collaborated to bring affordable care to local pets.
Having a pet can be expensive, and many people cannot always afford the necessary requirements by city ordinances which state the following: 1) dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered 2) no more than four animals in one home without a multiple pet permit 3) breeding and commercial permits are required for people who breed their animals and sell them 4) all pets must be up to date on all shots.
Fortunately, clinics such as Soul Dog Rescue, Cindy’s Hope for Precious Paws, and the Portales Animal Control Center offer affordable surgeries and vaccinations to pet-owners at least once a year. While a normal veterinary clinic can charge $200-$300, the Soul Dog’s 34-foot RV provides surgeries for $50-$75, including shots. If a pet is fixed, shots only cost $10 and a microchip costs $20.
Wendy Turner and Cindy Clayton are co-founders of Cindy’s Hope for Precious Paws which is a 100% donation based organization. It is not a shelter, as they facilitate the transportation and adoption of animals in need of homes. However, they work very closely with Portales Animal Control Center and Soul Dog to provide health services for animals. Recently, Soul Dog recently donated a transport van to Cindy’s Hope as they were using personal vehicles for rescues until this past month. “Shelby Davis, the director of Soul Dog, has been a God-send,” said Turner.
Though the selfless acts of kindness do not go unnoticed, they could not be done without volunteers such as Jill Raines, who travels every weekend, from New York, to assist with the local rescue efforts. Reflecting on her time as a volunteer, Raines said that the most beneficial part of volunteering is “learning to be adaptable, in a regular practice animals are usually well-behaved but with clinics such as these you never know what you are going to get.”
Since becoming a foster parent, Officer Tiana Wade, from Portales Police Department, said there are a lot of changes happening at the shelter through new policies that include taking volunteers and having Adoption Days every Saturday. Officer Vernon Collins, who has been serving in the Animal Control Center since October 22, 2016, reiterated the same sentiments as he discussed the Animal Control Center’s goal to include an area outside for the dogs to play. Citizens can expect to see more of the Animal Control Center as they work to turn their reputation around. “We do not want to have the negative ideation that goes with being a pound,” Collins said.
Individuals at the clinic emphasized the importance of spaying and neutering your pets, as well as keeping their shots up to date, calling it a community responsibility.