First ever discount spay and neuter clinic packs them in

Brooke Curley Photo/ Gila Valley Central: Justine Dominguez takes a little dog's temperature while prepping for surgery.


By Brooke Curley

THATCHER- Although everyone loves their four-legged friends, many individuals find it hard to pay the fee of a spay or neuter.

On Friday & Saturday, the first-ever Safford Spay and Neuter Clinic opened its doors to long lines of humans and their furry friends. Asavet was the group responsible for the mobile clinic, and is a nonprofit veterinarian organization that travels from place to place helping local communities care for their pets. Although check in was to be from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, Gila Valley Central caught up with the clinic located at the First Southern Baptist Church on Friday morning at roughly 8:30 am and people were already being turned away.

Brooke Curley Photo/ Gila Valley Central: The line to register animals stretched down the hall and out the door on Friday morning.

With the cost of the operations being $20 for dog operations and $10 dollars for cats, many individuals waited in line for at least three hours. Gila Valley Central chatted with Jerry Hendry. Hendry had been waiting in line Friday morning at the clinic for three hours, and was bringing in multiple animals.

“I think it’s amazing and this town definitely needs it. I hope they (the clinic) keep coming,” Hendry said. “It’s nice to see how many people have come to take advantage of it.”

Later, Hendry commented how many of the local pet owners grumble over the lack animal care services in the Gila Valley. However, Hendry stressed that she appreciated the clinic’s willingness to travel to the Gila Valley.

A spokesman for Asavet said that the clinic hopes to return soon. Also, the spokesperson said that the group does not book individuals in advance because the vets have to deal with possible extenuating circumstances which include personal health, and the health of the animal.

“It’s awesome, it really is. A lot of people complain about not having resources, and I hope they keep coming back. I really do.” Hendry said.

Cheryl Christensen, of the Desert Cat Sanctuary, helped orchestrate the clinic’s visit to the Gila Valley. Christensen told Gila Valley Central that she had spoken to Pat Hubbard from Asavet at the Adopt Love event in Tucson.

“We talked about including Safford in their area of service. It took some time and patience, but we were finally included,” Christensen said. “We also had community partners that also stepped up to help with the vaccinations, hotel & food. Also, the First Southern Baptist Church was huge in this event for providing a location to perform the work. I had asked several other locations and had been turned down.”

For more information on Asavet click here. For those who didn’t get to visit the clinic, the Humane Society will be holding a World Spay Day in February. For more information, call the number on the flier.