HILO — The Hawaii Island Humane Society plans to have a mobile spay and neuter clinic up and running this summer.
Fund Development Director Whitney Sickels said Monday that HIHS — a nonprofit that contracts with the county for animal control services — has raised $120,000 to purchase the vehicle, surpassing its original $100,000 fundraising goal. The $100,000 will be matched by the Laurence H. Dorcy Hawaiian Foundation.
“We had a few $5,000 donations, but really the bulk of them were from the community,” Sickels said. “The overwhelming response and generosity from the community was inspiring because it really shows the community realizes we have this (pet) overpopulation problem and wants to help. The clinic is for the community and purchased by the community, so it was really nice to see that.”
The 26-foot specialty vehicle will cost just shy of $200,000, including the cost of shipping it from Ohio, Sickels said.
She said the additional money raised will be used for vehicle maintenance, operational costs and surgery costs. She said the vehicle will include two anesthesia machines, 25 kennels and an array of supplies and medical equipment.
The mobile clinic is slated to arrive at the Hilo port in late May or early June, Sickels said. Once here, it will be parked at easy-to-access areas, such as post offices and department store parking lots.
The mobile clinic should help combat the island’s pet overpopulation problem by reaching more residents in rural areas.
The county provides funding to HIHS to distribute spay/neuter coupons, which can be reimbursed at shelters or private veterinary clinics. However, fixing a single animal can require up to three trips to the shelter, including a visit to acquire the coupon, and two separate trips to pick up and drop off an animal.
HIHS also is running a photo contest starting March 12. For each donation, your (spayed or neutered) pet will be entered for a chance to appear on the mobile clinic. Winners must be available for a photo shoot. All proceeds will go toward spay and neuter services. For more information visit www.hihs.org.
Email Kirsten Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.