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Vet Van Helps Control Animal Overpopulation

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DURHAM — Dogs outnumber people ten to one, which means if every person on earth owned a dog, there would still be quite a few leftover.

In other words, there are not enough people to take care of all the pets. Yet many pet owners do not prevent their dogs from reproducing. Doctor Mary Ann McBride hopes to change that.

McBride realized the scope of the problem afterHurricane Floyd.

"We spent three weeks down there and realized that out of the 462 dogs we handled, only two were spayed or neutered," she says.

McBride believes many pet owners do not spay or neuter their animals because it is too expensive. So she has created an affordable alternative.

McBride startedSNAP-NC-- North Carolina's first mobile spay and neuter clinic.

"There's a population out there that's not being reached by the traditional veterinary community," she says. "The traditional vets do an awesome job, but there's also a pocket of people that really need a lower cost opportunity."

Lower cost is what she offers. She charges $45 for cats, and $65 for dogs, and that includes rabies and other vaccinations. Those services would normally cost about $200.

"We're not in this to make money. We're in this to offer a service to the community," she says.

And instead of waiting for the community to come to her, McBride brings her clinic to the community.

The SNAP van is set up three days a week in parking lots that are within a 20 county radius of Raleigh. McBride hopes that by making the services easy and inexpensive, she will help bring pet overpopulation under control.

"Our goal is to get the pets spayed or neutered, and if we do it, that's great," she says. "If their private practioner does it, that's great, too."

There are no income requirements to take advantage of SNAP-NC. Anyone interested in setting up an appointment for a pet is asked to call(919) 783-SNAP or (919) 783-7627.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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