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Animal Services Expands Veterinary Program with County and Grant Funding

Aug 19, 2021, 07:39 AM by Claudia Sievers

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners approved funding Aug. 16 to increase veterinary staff at the Cumberland County Animal Shelter.

The addition of four veterinary health care technicians and one part-time veterinarian will allow the department to provide more services to the community, including sterilization surgery for feral cats in the Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return (TNVR) program and rabies vaccine clinics for pets in the county, as well as ensuring appropriate medical attention for the more than 10,000 animals that enter the shelter each year.

In addition, the Animal Services Department would like to acknowledge Petco Love (formerly the Petco Foundation), a charitable foundation that has provided $120,000 over the last two years that enabled the department to purchase greatly needed veterinary equipment and supplies such as anesthesia machines, surgical instruments, monitors, and patient care equipment used by shelter veterinarians, volunteer veterinarians from Fort Bragg, and visiting veterinary students.

“Spay and neuter surgeries for adoptable animals and feral cats are the greatest priority for the department, and veterinarians can perform a wide variety of necessary surgery to help save shelter pets,” said Elaine Smith, Animal Services Director. Since the Petco Love grant was awarded in 2019, the department has performed 3,178 spay or neuter surgeries on shelter pets, and 1,462 feral cats have been sterilized, vaccinated and returned.

Grant funding was also used to move and refurbish an x-ray unit, donated by a local veterinary practice, which was needed to evaluate sick and injured animals at the shelter.

“In just over two years, our veterinary department has essentially gone from Dr. April Kelly, our full-time shelter veterinarian, and a microscope to five fully equipped surgery stations and a full team of veterinary professionals who have the equipment and supplies they need to care for our shelter animals,” said Elaine Smith, Animal Services Director. “We hope to fill the new positions quickly, so we can continue to expand the ways we are helping animals in the community.”

Petco Love logo 

Petco Love, a lifesaving nonprofit, inspires and empowers animal lovers to save pet lives. Together we find a way to harness the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier.