Vets for Pets will take the first 15 animals Tuesday to perform low-cost spay and neuter operations at the After Hours Veterinary Services clinic in Killeen.
“There has been an accumulation of about a year’s worth of work to get to this point,” said Pat Davis, a veterinarian at El Centro Pet Medical Center and a member of Vets for Pets.
Numerous veterinarians, whose clinics operate along the U.S. Highway 190 corridor,
created the Vets for Pets nonprofit organization so local animal owners with low incomes can receive basic care for their pets at a reduced cost.
East Lake Veterinary Center veterinarian Michael Joyner said this organization allows pet owners to stay in town for services and not use programs that come into the area and are unreachable after they leave.
The group has spent the past few months working toward Tuesday’s opening.
“It feels great,” Davis said. “I am a little nervous, because we don’t know how many people are going to be there.”
Half hoping for a crowd, Davis said the clinic will only take 15 animals for spay and neuter operations the first day. The animals will be selected on a first-come first-serve basis.
Those 15 animals must be checked in between 8:30 and 9 a.m., she said. Owners must pick up their pets by 5 p.m.
“We need to have that ability to clean up the place,” Davis said, noting After Hours opens at 6 p.m. Since the space is only available to Vets for Pets during the day, animals can’t stay after their operations. “We have no place to keep them. We can’t have someone not picking up their animal.”
Those wanting to bring an animal for service should print and fill out forms found online to make the process faster, Davis said.
Animals also can’t have food or water starting at midnight before the surgery, and small animals should be brought in carriers.
“(Fifteen) is a small number at this point, but we are hoping to get to 30 animals in one day,” Davis said, “but we have to start out small in order to get there.”
The service also will be provided Thursday.