AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — P.E.T.S. Clinic of Amarillo is staying busy as they work to meet the high demand for low-cost veterinary care in the area.
The pandemic forced the non-profit, low-cost veterinary clinic to cancel its fundraisers in 2020. Now they are working to get back to normal.
“We had put the brakes on quite a bit,” said executive director Dacia Anderson. “So, we really just depend on people, even when they give a couple dollars extra when they come just to pass on, that adds up and we’re able to help somebody with that.”
Anderson said they closed briefly last spring, but since reopening, she said they stayed operational thanks to gifts from generous monthly donors, and they apply for grants often. She also said when the community supports their wellness clinic, it helps to subsidize surgery costs.
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“What we charge doesn’t pay for the surgery, obviously,” Anderson said. “So, when you come and you buy flea and tick meds from us, or heartworm preventative from us, you’re helping us to subsidize care for other people.”
The clinic is only open for surgeries three days out of the week, and they are still performing about 100 spay and neuters each week. Anderson also said they see about 50 to 70 pets for preventative care each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
“So, we’ve been incredibly busy with spays, neuters, and our preventative wellness,” Anderson said. “We’ve been booking about a week ahead on our vaccines and microchips, and things, and then our surgeries have been booking out quite far. There’s definitely a need, especially for dog spays. We could have a dog spay clinic and stay open 24 hours a day, I think, and there’s just such a need here.”
Since the clinic first opened in 2019, Anderson said they have performed more than 8,000 surgeries and will likely reach 10,000 soon. She also estimated they have given preventative care to well over 10,000 animals.
During the pandemic, many people got new pets and Anderson said some need help paying for veterinary care, noting they have seen many dogs named “Covid” or “Corona.”
“They do come in and say, ‘Hey, I’m on disability,’ or ‘I only have, you know, this much, what can we do?’ And so we’re able to get them vaccinated for a low cost, and that’s a huge help to them. Because sometimes they don’t know if they’re going to have, you know, the money for groceries, let alone vaccinating their pet, but they understand the importance,” she continued.
She said low-cost veterinary care is also helpful for people with multiple pets. The clinic says there are no income or residence restrictions.
“People like me that have multi pets in their home, it’s a good way to save some money and still get some good vet care for your dogs,” said Jerrie Coffey, who had her dog spayed on Tuesday. “They offer flea and tick prevention, you can do heartworm testing, they’ll trim your dog’s nails. They do well checks and it’s all very, very affordable and fast.”
Coffey, who is involved with area rescues, encouraged pet owners to take advantage of the subsidized veterinary care to help stop pet overpopulation.
“I just encourage everybody to please spay and neuter your pets,” Coffey said, noting the work P.E.T.S. does to help. “We’ve just got to work on not having so many pets reproducing and it’s just a real issue here in Amarillo.”
Anderson said they are still wearing masks in the clinic and when interacting with the public as they serve many elderly people and want to keep them safe.
The clinic is still offering curbside service.
Click here to see prices for P.E.T.S. Clinic of Amarillo’s services and pricing.