AFNYC's Clinic Initiative in the News
Clinics Are the Answer

The AFNYC Study

Why Are Animals Abandoned?

How Much Does Surgery Cost?

What Do We Mean By Low Cost?

How Many Surgeries Do We Need?

Why Are Shelters So Expensive?

Why Are Clinics So Cheap?

Why the City and Not Animal Welfare Groups?

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Low Cost and Easy To Use

What Do We Mean by Low Cost?

Have-A-Heart Spay and Neuter Clinic, which operated in New York City for over six years, charged clients between $35 and $55 to spay or neuter an animal, depending on its size. When the clinic raised its fees to $85 to $95, the number of clients plummeted.

There are other low-cost programs in the city, and the fees charged by all of them fall roughly into the $35 to $55 bracket. So there is unanimity on what counts as low cost.

But to really make a dent in the number of animals who get abandoned, we have to make spay and neuter accessible as well as affordable. Unfortunately, most of the city's current low-cost programs are difficult to use or are restricted to people on public assistance.

Those are serious drawbacks for the working poor. Our goal is to remove those barriers so New Yorkers with few resources will have an easier time being responsible guardians of their animals. This inexpensive assistance early on will keep animals out of the city's shelters, lower the number of animals euthanized and save the city money.

Animal Friendly NYC's Clinic Initiative

AFNYC believes the best way to provide that help is through city-funded, standing clinics that are readily accessible to low-income New Yorkers in every borough. Clinics have several advantages. The Have-A-Heart clinic, which handled about 6,700 animals a year, had seven full-time employees and four part-time vets. Owners made appointments with the clinic and paid the clinic. There was no flow of paperwork or approvals from an administering agency to client or to veterinarian.

What's Available Now?

Right now the city has a patchwork of low-cost spay and neuter programs. All of them together don't provide even half the number of low-cost surgeries experts say the city needs.

And some score low on the accessibility scale. For example: Two other programs - Friends of Animals' Spay and Neuter Program and Muffin's Pet Connection - use certificates and don't require proof of need.

All these programs are necessary. All serve a very needy market. Even with city clinics, they would still be crucial to bringing an end to routine euthanasia of dogs and cats. City clinics would augment them, not replace them.

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