COLUMBIA — An animal advocacy group focused on decreasing euthanasia and improving area spay and neuter practices is seeking a space to open a low cost spay and neuter clinic in the Columbia area.
No Kill Columbia hopes to find a 2,500 to 3,500-square-foot space to renovate and open by spring or fall. Ideally, the building would be accessible from either U.S. 63 or Interstate 70, so clients coming from outside Boone County could reach it easily, said Melissa Kron, chair of No Kill Columbia's Spay Neuter Project.
The group has raised $60,000 of its $100,000 goal through online fundraising, events and private donations. The money raised so far will go toward acquiring a space for the clinic.
"We need $35,000 cash in hand as start up on the day we open," Kron said. "The rest will go toward necessary renovations."
Humane Alliance, a national nonprofit focused on animal sterilization, is mentoring the group and recommended it begin looking for a space once the fundraising halfway point had been reached. Kron said the cost estimate for the space could be lowered depending on what is available and the generosity of the community.
"Columbia seems like a very giving community," she said. "Hopefully, we can get a lot of the labor side of things donated."
Kron said establishing a clinic in Columbia will make it easier and more cost-effective for mid-Missouri rescues and pet owners to spay and neuter their animals, decreasing the number of animals that end up in area shelters.
Once opened, the clinic will staff six full-time employees: a licensed veterinarian to perform all surgeries, a director, a veterinary technician, two veterinary assistants and someone to work the front office. The clinic will also hire one part-time driver to work with the clinic's transport program, which will help No Kill Columbia reach rural communities.
The next event to help raise funds for the clinic is the Spay-Ghetti Dinner at Stephens College. Last year's dinner raised about $5,300, which acted as a kickoff for the Spay Neuter Project.
This year's event will take place Feb. 25, "World Spay Day," and will include a catered dinner, a bake sale and a silent auction.
"We'd love to do even better this year to get us closer to our goal," Kron said.
Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.