Low-Income Animal Spay/Neuter Clinic Faces Possible Shutdown

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) Supporters of a Huntsville low-income veterinary clinic fear a decision that is expected to be made next month by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners could force them to close their doors.

 The North Alabama Spay-Neuter clinic off N Memorial Parkway has been providing low-cost spay and neuter services for over two years. Now, the hospital and other nonprofit centers like it face new rules that could force them to close their doors.

Dr. Joy Baird talks about the possibility of her clinic being forced to close.
(Photo by Matt Kroschel, WHNT)

All four spay/neuter clinics in Alabama have, since inception, been approved, sanctioned and licensed by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. 

The board will decide Oct.10, at 9:00 a.m., if they will change some long-standing rules. Supports of the low-cost clinics say changes to the rules they already comply with would make it difficult for the clinics to exist. In a nutshell, no non-veterinarian can provide equipment or medications for use by a veterinarian. No non-veterinarian can rent or provide a facility for a veterinarian. (see attached.)

Despite several requests for comment on this story, phone calls and emails were not returned by anyone at the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Supporters say over the last four plus years, veterinarians working with Alabama Spay/Neuter Centers have performed over 100,000  low-cost surgeries. Officials say many of the animals brought to these clinics belong to people who otherwise could not afford to fix their animals. In addition, even at reduced rates, many of these surgeries had to be supplemented by the clinics thru donations and grants in order to be affordable for these families. During the first 8 months of 2012 over half of the surgeries performed at Alabama Spay/Neuter were financially subsidized.

Supporters say if you would like to send a comment or concern to the state board for them to review before they vote Oct. 10 you can send comments to:

Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
c/o: Tammy Wallace
8 Commerce Street; Suite 910
Montgomery, AL. 36130-5330

Watch the full report coming up tonight at 10:00 PM only on WHNT News 19.