January 21, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Missouri's First Humane Alliance Spay-Neuter Clinic to Open Spring, 2010

On January 29, 2010 Springfield Animal Advocacy Foundation (SAAF) will purchase the former Association for the Blind property located at 1600 North Washington Avenue. Construction will begin immediately to transform the building into Missouri's first Humane Alliance model spay/neuter clinic. Using this exemplary model, the SAAFhouse Spay-Neuter Clinic hopes to repeat the experience of other communities in which animal intake and euthanasia rates have dramatically declined. Seventy such clinics have opened around the country in the last five years; SAAFhouse is expected to open in late spring.

SAAF will host a public forum on Monday, January 25 from 5:30 to 7:00 at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library. Board members will be on hand to answer questions and present information about the operation of SAAFhouse. The organization is seeking volunteers and “SAAF Samaritans” who can help support its efforts.

Community Development Block Grants are a potential resource. The group is applying for $25,000 to assist in opening operations of the clinic. Community input on the use of these funds for the project will also be taken at this public forum. A list of short and long term needs will be presented.

Recent comments by several people involved in the project:

SAAF president Janet Martin: “This clinic will fill a huge gap in resources for low-income families and rescue groups that desperately need access to low cost spay/neuter for their animals. The first Humane Alliance Clinic opened in Asheville, North Carolina in the 1990s and their euthanasia rate has dropped 75%. We expect the same results here in Springfield.”

Clay Goddard, Assistant Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department: “This is the most exciting development I've seen in the animal welfare community in years."

SAAF Board member Mary Collette: "It took the work of many as rescue groups came together and spent months discussing a strategy that would support everyone's effort. SAAFhouse is the answer to all their prayers."

SAAF is appreciative of Casey Architecture who has generously donated architectural services including construction documents and oversight. SAAF challenges other contractors and building materials businesses to assist in the necessary remodeling of the clinic property.

SAAF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a coalition of animal welfare agencies, including Animal Abuse Council, Castaway Animal Rescue Effort (CARE), Pet Connection, Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), Springfield-Greene County Animal Control, and SW MO K9s.

For more information, contact : Mary Collette, SAAF Board member, 417-839-0119, marycollete@netzero.net

Springfield Animal Advocacy Foundation, 5927 S. Kimbrough, Springfield, MO 65810 - email: saaf2018@yahoo.com, on the web: www.saaf2018.org