Animal center starts expanded spay and neuter program in Knox

Young-Williams Animal Center starts expanded spay and neuter program

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Young-Williams Animal Center will start an expanded spay/neuter program that aims to decrease pet overpopulation and animal homelessness.

One part of the program is a new low-cost spay/neuter clinic at Young-Williams Animal Village, 6400 Kingston Pike. It opens on Tuesday, January 17.

It will be available to community members whose incomes qualify for reduced cost surgeries.

The clinic at Animal Village is funded in part by PetSmart Charities and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The standard co-pay will be $35-$65, depending on the species (cat or dog) and gender.

Additional grants may be available to supplement the low co-pays. Grant availability will change over time. It can be determined when the pet owner calls for an appointment.

The other part of the program uses the Young-Williams mobile Spay Shuttle for high-risk animals, at no cost, where they live throughout Knox County.

High-risk animals include dogs and cats less than six months old, what Young-Williams calls bully breeds of dogs and "community" or feral cats.

"Every year, we take in roughly 16,000 animals," said Dr. Michael Blackwell, administrator of Young-Williams, in a press release. "We must work to decrease the number of homeless pets in East Tennessee, and the most simple and humane long-term solution is to spay and neuter more animals."

About half the animals taken in each year at the center are stray or abandoned pets. The other half are surrendered by their owners for various reasons, such as not being able to afford their care.

In order to qualify for the low-cost spay/neuter service, pet owners need to provide evidence of some form of state or federal public assistance. Young-Williams staff will help people determine their eligibility.

Call 865-215-6677 to ask for an appointment for the clinic.

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