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Colorado group to offer low-cost spay, neuter clinic


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

A low-cost spay and neuter clinic for dogs and cats is scheduled to start offering services in Roswell next spring.

The clinic will be conducted one week a month by the Colorado Animal Welfare League (CAWL), a nonprofit rescue organization that has operated out of Castle Rock, Colorado, since 2010. The organization adopts out dogs and cats and has provided a mobile spay and neuter clinic in Colorado and surrounding states as well as the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

The Roswell clinic, which will be located at 710 E. College Blvd., will be the organization’s first stationary clinic, President Lisa Petri said.

While Petri had never visited Roswell prior to last June, she said the town and its need for a clinic had been on her mind ever since she, her husband and her mother adopted dogs that came from Roswell.

Petri had been fostering dogs for the Colorado Humane Society in 2007 when she chose a female border collie and her puppies that had been transported from Roswell.

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“This was a stunning dog,” she said. “She was pretty young, shiny, skinny, trained, calm. I just kept thinking ‘What is going on down there that this dog can’t find a home?’”

About two years ago, Sammye Leflar, president of Friends of Roswell Animals, contacted Petri after hearing that CAWL might be interested in helping animals in Roswell.

“She said it might be a couple of years before she might be ready to come, so I stayed in contact with her,” Leflar said.

Leflar said she contacted Petri earlier this year asking if CAWL was ready to come to Roswell.

“She said that with the pandemic it was a great time to contemplate it and from there she just went forward and came out,” Leflar said.

Petri said she visited Roswell on June 1 and met with Liz Ashby, wife of Roswell veterinarian Mark Ashby, who helped her find a building. The lease was signed the next day, Petri said, and work on the building began in August.

“We’ve been working on it ever since. We have a few more things to do but it’s almost ready and it looks really good,” Petri said.

FORA donated the equipment for the clinic. The local organization had raised funds and purchased $10,000 in equipment for the city’s Animal Services to start a spay and neuter clinic, but the city never used it, Leflar said.

FORA was able to get the equipment back and donated it to CAWL for the clinic.

“Any time the community is involved, that helps a ton, because we want to be able to help where people want the help,” Petri said.

CAWL’s veterinarian, Dr. Emily Hays, obtained a license to practice in New Mexico last month, Petri said. Other required licenses are also in the works, she said.

The clinic will be offered the first week of each month starting in March. Spays and neuters for dogs will be $75, and the procedures cost $50 for cats.

“That does include pain meds and vaccines if they need them, so there’s no extra charges,” Petri said.

Pets will have to weigh at least 2 pounds or be two months old, she said.

Other than rabies shots, the clinic will not offer services beyond spay and neuter.

“We’re not doing any kind of regular vetting like exams or seeing ear infections or whatever. We want people to have a relationship with their regular vet. We encourage it,” Petri said.

CAWL and FORA might also be able to offer financial assistance for some people, Petri and Leflar said, however, they are still working on the details for that.

Appointments can be made by calling Ashby at 575-626-0506.

Petri said it’s possible the fee could change as the organization figures out what its expenses will be.

“We’re here to spay and neuter and not make money,” she said. “I just need to make sure I can cover the expenses and we can raise or lower the prices as necessary. But right now we’re starting with that and hoping it covers all the bills and keeps it afloat.”

The organization is also hoping other animal groups might be interesting in operating a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in the building during the weeks CAWL is not using it.

“It would be nice if it could be used two weeks a month,” Petri said.

CAWL has committed to a three-year lease on the building, but Petri said the organization is looking at working in Roswell for up to a decade. It operated mobile spay and neuter clinics in the San Louis Valley of Colorado for about nine years.

“It takes a while to make a huge difference, to make a dent,” Petri said.

“Most of the places I work are pretty small towns, no stoplights, no hotels, so this is the biggest town I’ve ever taken on. But we’re committed for three to 10 years depending on what the need is,” she said.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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