Planned Pethood of Zephyrhills hit a milestone Nov. 24: It had cared for 10,000 dogs and cats since opening in February 2010.
To put this into perspective, consider that two dogs or cats can potentially produce 67,000 unwanted offspring in six years. Do the math.
"That's why it's so important that people spay and neuter," said Cindy Evers, owner of Planned Pethood.
Evers is an animal lover, and she hates seeing what happens to animals in Pasco County. She said hundreds of dogs and cats are euthanized each month at the shelter.
"The answer to all the killing in the shelter is people spaying and neutering their animals, but it has to be affordable. People can't spend $200 to $300 — they won't," she said.
That's what Planned Pethood is all about, Evers said. "Our mission is to provide a low-cost spay/neuter program for people with cats and dogs," she said. "Something they can afford. There's no income base to it."
Planned Pethood is a nonprofit business and sets prices to cover the costs of operating the clinic. Neutering a male cat costs $33, and spaying a female costs $43. The charge for neutering a male dog up to 99 pounds is $73. For female dogs up to 99 pounds, the charge is $93.
Planned Pethood offers other services, such as vaccinations, dental, flea and heartworm treatments and a wellness clinic for sick dogs and cats.
Evers said that because the clinic isn't in business to make money, it can offer services at low cost, but that doesn't mean pets get inferior care.
"This clinic is licensed like any other veterinary clinic," she said. It meets or exceeds current veterinary standards. The veterinarians are licensed physicians who do not have private practices.
Evers adds that they may have more experience than other veterinarians because they may do up to 30 spays or neuters a day five days a week.
She says it is not the county's fault that the shelter must put so many dogs and cats to death. There are too many, and they have no choice, but she feels she offers an affordable alternative.
Planned Pethood is located at 5053 Gall Boulevard in Zephyrhills. It serves only dogs and cats. To learn more about the clinic or to schedule a visit, call (813) 779-7000.