As part of an effort to keep stray pet populations down throughout Yamhill County, McMinnville-based nonprofit Homeward Bound Pets is slated to open a new, low-cost clinic for residents and local shelters to fix cats and dogs later this year.
The small clinic planned to open in September at 723 N.E. Evans St. in McMinnville is intended to fill the need for an affordable option for residents of Yamhill County and northern Polk County, with prices expected to be at least half of what a regular veterinary clinic would charge, according to organizers.
Principally aimed at cats but also including dogs, the project is aimed at keeping stray, unvaccinated animals from reproducing, overpopulating and spreading diseases while also helping owners afford to keep their pets, explained Georgann Percival, a member of Homeward Bound Pets' board and a primary organizer of the clinic effort.
"If they've not been spayed and neutered, they start multiplying, and if they don't have medical care and don't have vaccinations, they start spreading diseases and things, and it becomes a problem," she said.
Offering spaying of a female cat as an example, Percival said the procedure roughly costs about $100 in this area, and they plan to charge about $50 for most people and $30 for those who can show proof of state or federal low-income assistance.
The clinic will also be available for shelters throughout the county, which have a longstanding partnership in offering pets for adoption and providing veterinary services, including the Newberg Animal Shelter.
"It takes a village to meet the increasing demand for displaced pets, and to provide spay/neuter services for population control," Crista Eberle, president of Newberg Animal Shelter Friends, said in an email. "We are excited that our community will have a new resource for low cost spay/neuter in Yamhill County, and congratulate Homeward Bound on their amazing work to achieve this goal."
Homeward Bound Pets' spay and neuter service involves gathering cats needing the procedure once each month — the current program doesn't serve dogs — driving them to an affordably priced clinic in Wilsonville and bringing them back to their owners later in the afternoon.
In its sixth year, Percival said the organization has likely spent $200,000 so far for this program, incurring stress on volunteers, pet owners and the animals themselves.
During discussions of how to replace that program, a local donor offered to effectively donate the Evans Street building to Homeward Bound Pets, charging $10 per month while gradually ceding ownership of the building to the nonprofit over a 10-year period.
Percival said Homeward Bound Pets began a fundraising drive to refurbish the building in September and have since collected about 86 percent of the $195,000 it will be contributing.
While that will likely cover the costs of renovating the building, Percival said the remaining 14 percent of the fundraising goal will cover the necessary veterinary supplies.
"Inside the building, we're going to be looking at ordering all of the surgical tables and all of the sinks and all of the parts that go into the vet equipment," said Ronnie Vostinak, executive director of Homeward Bound Pets.
Those looking to donate to the project can do so in person in McMinnville at the shelter, 10601 SE Loop Road, or the thrift store at 1120 NE Lafayette Ave., or mail checks to Homeward Bound Pets at P.O. Box 8, McMinnville, OR 97128. Donations are also accepted at the shelter's website www.hbpets.org or via the project's GoFundMe at www.gofund me.com/hbpets-spayneuter.
More information is available by calling 971-261-0709.