Great turnout for free spay-neuter clinic for pets in Guelph

Many vulnerable and disadvantaged households with pets can take advantage of a free spay-neuter clinic in Guelph.

The Guelph Humane Society, along with the Ontario Veterinary College’s Kim and Stu Land Community Healthcare Partnership Program, is holding pop-up clinics until early 2023 where pet owners can get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered at no cost.

“It’s been a difficult year for a lot of people in the community,” said Lisa Veit, executive director of the humane society. “It stands to reason that items like pet care or preventative health care can be one of those items that can be difficult to prioritize.”

The clinic began as a pilot project in 2019 and Veit said the turnout was tremendous.

“We had an overwhelming response of the need at that clinic,” said Veit. “The feedback that we are hearing from pet owners is that, for some, spay-neuter services and health care for their pets is beyond their reach without programs of this nature.”

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The humane society received a $125,000 grant from the PetSmart Charities of Canada and that allowed them to set up these clinics in Guelph and Wellington County.

“Preventative care for pets is a critical component to their wellness,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities of Canada. “It’s also a matter of community health, and we’re proud to partner with the Guelph Humane Society to support this effort.”

In order to qualify for the no-cost spay-neuter clinics, you must be a resident of Guelph or Wellington County and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Experiencing economic hardship and receiving social support of some kind (i.e., ODSP, Ontario Works, GIS)
  • Experiencing housing insecurity, precariously housed, or at risk of homelessness
  • Being emergency sheltered (including stays in overnight shelters, or those for people impacted by family violence)
  • Qualify for a City of Guelph or Wellington County subsidy program (i.e., Affordable Bus Pass, FAIR, Child Care Subsidy)

Veit said people looking to bring their pets in to these clinics are currently being put on a waiting list.

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As of Tuesday, there have been nine pop-up clinics and 127 surgical procedures performed on pets. Veit said the goal is to spay or neuter around 300 pets during the course of the clinics.

“We have a number of voluntary vets and technicians in the area that come to these clinics to provide assistance,” said Veit. “We also involve students from the OVC program that will give them experiential learning opportunities. They get to interact with patients bringing their pets in and gets them good exposure of working in a spay-neuter clinic.”

For more about the Guelph Humane Society, visit its website or call 519-824-3091.


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