The National Spay and Neuter Coalition receives many calls about how to start a spay clinic. “The biggest problem is finding a veterinarian,” says coalition founder Peggy W. Larson, DVM. The following tips can help you get started.
1. Look at the population in the area where you want to establish a clinic. This may determine whether the clinic will be a full- or part-time undertaking.
2. Check with local veterinarians. You may find one who will perform spay or neuter procedures at his or her clinic. Or, call a veterinary college for a new graduate, or find a retired veterinarian in your area. See if your local humane society already has a clinic or is interested in starting one.
3. Locate a site. Place the clinic in or near the area that needs the most help. You’ll probably need four rooms: a reception area, a holding area, a prep room and a surgical suite.
4. Equip the site. You can find desks, chair and tables in used furniture stores. Check with veterinary hospitals for used equipment. Cat carriers can double as cages.
5. Advertise. Hang posters in convenience stores, laundromats, welfare offices and any other likely place. Encourage your local newspaper to cover your new facility.
6. Find a dedicated, tireless director who will not allow the project to fail.