News 12 at 6, May 27, 2008
COLUMBIA COUNTY--Construction is underway on something that's going to help save the lives of thousands of animals, a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.
Spaying or neutering a pet can be a several hundred dollar cost that some can't afford. This new clinic will change that. That means fewer animals for tax-payer funded animal control to deal with it.
It's been a long time coming for Donna Evans to see a huge dream come true.
That dream is being shaped out this dirt and when it's all been said and done, what's now an empty lot will become something that will save thousands of lives of stray and unwanted pets, a low cost spay and neuter clinic.
"We're very excited." Donna said.
The idea is that if spaying and neutering is affordable, fewer animals like these will have to be put down by animal control.
Every year, Columbia County puts down nearly 2,000 animals, but with this new clinic, that is expected to change. And that change will save taxpayer money.
"Animal control will pick up less animals. Les animals means less time on the clock for employees." Donna said.
The clinic will be just one part of a nearly 14 acre lot called Dog Wood Park eventually these woods will become walking trails, an agility course, a no kill shelter and the first dog park in the Augusta area.
And 100% of the funds are being paid for through donations to the Columbia County Humane Society.
"This is zero tax dollars. This is all about citizens and businesses who care about our animals and who want to reduce the numbers of unwanted animals." said Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker who also runs Animal Control for the County.
It's still a work in progress, but Donna can already feel a difference being made.
"We've saved money, raised money and borrowed money and now it's finally underway." Donna said.
There is another low-cost spay/neuter clinic called Heartsong that's been in business for a while. But we're told, there is a huge need for more than one clinic in the area and this will be another step towards the goal of no unwanted animals.