Last updated: August 30. 2014 10:37AM - 407 Views

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Local veterinarians are doing more than treating illnesses and mending injuries for our pet population.

This week, the six veterinary clinics in Robeson County offered rabies shots at the reduced cost of $5 — a nod to the Board of Commissioners, which chipped in $3 per shot, dropping the cost from $8 — in an impoverished county where a lot of people struggle to pay for groceries, clothes and electricity, pretty much guaranteeing that many animals will not be protected against the virus. Not only did the vets provide the shots at the reduced cost, but they did it through an outreach program, holding clinics at all of the county’s fire departments.

Participating veterinary clinics are: Baird’s Animal Hospital, 3169 E. Elizabethtown Road, Lumberton, 910-739-4998; North End Veterinary Clinic, 5791 Fayetteville Road, Lumberton, 910-738-9368; Southeastern Veterinary Hospital, 1720 N.C.. 211, Lumberton, 910-739-9411; South Robeson Veterinary Hospital, 5412 N.C. 41, Fairmount, 910-628-7178; North Star Veterinary Hospital, 532 Canady Road, Parkton, 910-521-3431; and Pembroke Veterinary Hospital, 1447 Prospect Road, Pembroke, 910-521-3431. Together they form the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association.

If you have a cat or dog that has not been vaccinated, it’s not too late to take advantage of the program, which the vets offer twice a year. Today it will be offered at the Shannon, Britts, Pembroke Rural, Whitehouse, East Howellsville and Sterlings fire departments, and on Friday at the Allenton, Queheel, Raynham-McDonald, Evans Crossroads, Orrum and Pine Terrace fire departments. The hours each day are 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Next week, the association will hold its ninth semi-annual SNIP, during which animals are spayed or neutered at discounted prices 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. The procedure normally costs as much as $150, depending on the size and breed of the animal.

Since the program was initiated in 2010, more than 2,500 animals have been spayed or neutered, which means hundreds of thousands of unborn dogs and cats.

Robeson County for years has had a problem with discarded cats and dogs that can be found at Dumpsters, emaciated, starving not only for a scrap of food but for some affection. They generally end up at the county pound, where the odds are short that they will be euthanized.

So if you have a pet in need of being spayed or neutered, be responsible and have that done. Never will there be a better deal than next week.

Bill Smith, the director of the Health Department, which is responsible for Animal Control, often points out that while the state requires these outreach efforts, the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association goes beyond the mandate by holding them twice a year instead of once. All of us, pet owners or not, should be appreciative as we all benefit.

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