220 pets fixed during SNIP initiative

First Posted: 9/18/2014

PEMBROKE — Approximately 220 cats and dogs were spayed or neutered at a discount price at six area animal hospitals during the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association’s biannual SNIP program, marking a decrease from the 397 animals that received the procedure in March.

The program ran from Sept. 2 until Saturday.

Dr. David Brooks, a member of the association and owner of Pembroke Veterinary Hospital, said he was undeterred by the drop in participation.

“The total number might be down a little, but we’re still doing a good service,” he said.

Brooks pointed out that, while fewer people turned out for SNIP, the program received a better response than the association’s other twice-a-year program, a rabies vaccination clinic that was held a week earlier.

During the clinic, which took place from Aug. 25 to Aug. 29 at all 32 fire departments across Robeson County, 910 animals were vaccinated — a significantly lower turnout than Brooks and other members of the association had anticipated.

More than 1,750 pets received rabies vaccinations through the program in 2013.

SNIP was established by the association in 2010 as a way to to help curtail the historically high number of unwanted dogs and cats that are euthanized at the Robeson County Animal Shelter. In the mid-2000s, as many as 5,000 animals were put down annually at the facility. While that number has since decreased, the euthanization rate has been trending upwards in recent years as rescue efforts have slowed.

“We wanted to relieve that burden that has been placed on the shelter and we wanted to let the whole public know that we want to help with overpopulation and unwanted pets,” Brooks said.

To date, more than 2,700 animals have been spayed or neutered through SNIP.

During the program, costs of the procedures, which normally cost as much as $150, depending on the size and breed of the animal, were as follows: female cats, $75; male cats, $60; female dogs less than 40 pounds, $85; female dogs more than 40 pounds, $100; male dogs less than 40 pounds, $80; and male dogs more than 40 pounds, $95.

Veterinary clinics that participated in the program included Baird’s Animal Hospital in Lumberton; North End Veterinary Clinic in Lumberton; Southeastern Veterinary Hospital in Lumberton; South Robeson Veterinary Hospital in Fairmont; North Star Veterinary Hospital in Parkton and Pembroke Veterinary Hospital in Pembroke.