Operation Fix is a state of the art mobile spay and neuter unit that is currently being developed by Whitney Knowlton, president of Last Chance Animal Rescue.
“The problem with animal control in rural areas like Chesterfield County is that there are no affordable options for spay and neuter available.” Knowlton said. “Local animal shelters are taking in far too many animals and many of the dogs and cats are being killed rather than adopted out.”
Knowlton is very familiar with the animal population problems in the area. Her organization, Last Chance Animal Rescue has been responsible for the rescue of close to 2,000 dogs from the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter over the past two years.
“Over the last two years we have worked to pull dogs from the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in order to decrease the amount of animals being killed,” Knowlton said. “We have worked with local rescue workers to transport the animals to our Chesterfield Safe Haven facility where they are vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Once this has been completed we transport the animals north and adopt them out through our Adoption Program.”
Due to strict spay and neuter laws, there are not as many homeless pets in many of the northern states. Last Chance Animal Rescue is one of many animal rescue organizations who perform similar missions throughout the south and adopt pets out to families in other areas of the country.
Last Chance Animal Rescue received $250,000 from a private donor to help in their mission to save animals by helping to control the animal population in the rural south. The donation will be used to custom build a mobile spay and neuter clinic that will operate four days a week and travel to different towns in the south. The clinic will employ a dedicated veterinarian along with veterinary technicians to help with the surgical procedures.
“The mobile clinic will be able to handle approximately 26 surgeries each day,” Knowlton said. “The price we are hoping to be able to pass along to the public for the surgeries will likely be $20 for the neutering of male animals and $30 for the spaying of females. These prices will only be available if a private donor, organization, or municipality is willing to pick up the other half of the operating costs.”
Operation Fix is working to form a coalition of members consisting of animal rescue organizations and municipalities in the area. A meeting is planned for 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Dec. 6 at the Jameson Inn in Cheraw.
“We are looking for the participation of local municipalities, rescue organizations and private donors who are interested in bringing this service to the public. We simply need to guarantee that the operating expenses of the clinic are covered before we commit to bringing these services to this area.”
Operation Fix has reached out to animal shelters and rescue groups in the area by extending an invitation to the meeting.
Paws and Claws of Chesterfield County, the volunteer group that helps care for the animals in the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter sees on a daily basis the results of lack of population control in the area and feel that an affordable spay and neuter program in the area will help decrease the number of animals brought into the shelter each month.
“Representatives from Paws and Claws of Chesterfield County will be attending the meeting,” said Paws and Claws volunteer Jerry Gaskins. “It is important for us to be able to provide an affordable option for pet owners so that they can be responsible and spay and neuter their pets.”
The Greater Pee Dee Animal Rescue is another animal activist group in the area who will also be attending the meeting. They have been raising money through various fundraisers to spay and neuter animals at a veterinary hospital in Vass, NC providing discounted services.
“We are excited about this program and hope that we can work with Operation Fix to alleviate the animal control problems in our area,” said Greater Pee Dee Animal Rescue volunteer Nancy Kimrey. “All of the members of the Greater Pee Dee Animal rescue are dedicated to helping to control the animal population through providing a local and affordable spay and neuter program.”
Other animal rescue groups like the Humane Societies from Marlboro County, Darlington County, Marion County and Dillon County have also been invited to attend the meeting.
Knowlton has also extended an invitation to the meeting anyone from the public who is interested in learning more about the program and want to get involved with helping the animals in the area.