Mobile pet clinic offers low-cost service

For the past three days, a team of veterinary technicians and a veterinarian have been working hard to help provide a low-cost opportunity to have pets in Brady sterilized. “This was a great opportunity at an affordable price,” said Leon Williams. “It was right on my way to work and it was very convenient as well as being affordable.” The low-cost clinic afforded residents who signed up ahead of time the chance to have their dog or cat sterilized for a fixed fee of $25. The mobile sterilization clinic was partly subsidized by the City of Brady. Discussions are already underway to plan a return trip to McCulloch County later this summer to include county animals as well. “We have got to work in tandem with the county to come up with a viable low-cost alternative to help the county,” said Sue Hall. “This is not just a city problem, it is a countywide problem that we can deal with together.” EmanciPet Inc. is an Austin-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization that provides animal sterlization. One of their mobile labs has been in Brady this week sterilizing more than 100 pets for Brady residents. The company is dedicated to the emancipation of pets from euthanasia and overpopulation through the provision of low- cost or free, easily accessible surgical sterilization of dogs and cats. Their trip to Brady is the result of a local effort to promote that same mission. A growing problem in Brady and McCulloch County, animal control has been at the forefront of numerous discussions of the Brady City Council which recently passed a new and updated animal control ordinance designed to help the city address the growing problem. “This is a great opportunity that is extremely affordable,” said Eddie and Helen Wilson, as they were waiting to check their three dogs into the clinic Thursday morning. “One of the dogs is ours and the two others were owned by elderly folks who needed to find them a good home.” The clinic, staffed by volunteers like Barbara Copenhaver, Sue Hall and Sue Steelhammer has been working nonstop from 8 a.m. until the 30 or so pets each day are operated on and released to their owners later that night. “We have had an incredible turnout and it has all been very positive,” said Mrs. Hall. “We even were fortunate enough to have a large number of food, leashes and collars along with other helpful information donated by a variety of companies. All in all, it has been a very positive experience and a good start toward educating the public about low-cost alternatives to euthanasia.” Dr. Ellen Jefferson created EmanciPet mobile spay/neuter clinic in 1999 after years of volunteering at local shelters and acting as a foster. EmanciPet was founded to be a high volume spay/neuter clinic that could reach many different populations by being mobile. Since 1999, over 35,000 animals have been sterilized within the mobile hospital alone. According to Tate O’Ban, a vet technician working in Brady for the past three days, the goal for the organization is to perform 20,000 sterilizations with the mobile lab this year alone. He and other technicians Jordan Abrams and Lawrence Edwards have assisted Dr. Susan Waage this week in three successful days of treatments. Areas served by EmanciPet include the City of Austin, Lago Vista, Bastrop, Lockhart, Marble Falls and many others. To date, Brady is the farthest distance they have traveled for a clinic. “We normally don’t drive more than 90 minutes for a clinic, but this has worked out very well,” said O’Ban. The group was treated to several meals during their stay in Brady including catered dinners and on-the-go lunches. “We had tremendous support from a number of people,” said Sue Hall, local organizer of the event. “We can’t thank everyone enough for their time, efforts and donations to the cause.” In 2005, a stationary facility was donated to EmanciPet by the City of Austin. This clinic as well as the mobile hospital, has increased the capabilities of the organization. Over the next year, however, the City of Austin will be building its new animal shelter on the property and EmanciPet will be forced to find a new facility. Plans are underway to schedule a second trip to Brady in July. More details on that possibility will be published as they become available.

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