Tuesday and Wednesday are very busy days at the Fox Valley Animal Welfare League’s newest venture. Since opening at the end of February, FVAWL’s new Spay and Neuter Clinic has been filling up fast, supplying discounted or low cost services for the general public, shelters and rescues in the Western suburbs. To date, the organization has performed 500 surgeries.
The venture may be new for the FVAWL, but helping animals is not. The group has been around for 66 years, helping raise funds for Aurora Animal Control (AAC) and working with other rescue groups to vet and find homes for pets in need. For the past several years, the group had been raising funds and providing spay, neuter and veterinary services for animals at AAC prior to adoption.
Much needed services for the Fox Valley
“We started hearing that people in the community really wanted a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and went to work about a year and a half ago to make that a reality,” says Ellen Wullbrandt, President of FVAWL, an all-volunteer organization. “Before we opened our doors, the closest options were NAWS in Mokena and PAWS in Chicago. Once we decided what we wanted to do, we started fundraising, found a building that met our needs and now we are open for business.”
The organization knows how vital this service is for the community. Long before they started providing spay and neuter services at animal control, the group worked with area rescues to pull animals from AAC and give them a second chance at adoption through other organizations.
“Our mission is to offer affordable spay and neuter services and then wellness and preventative care.” Says Wullbrandt. “We offer discounted services to low-income individuals – they must show proof that they are on social security, unemployment or other programs. Everyone else qualifies for our low-cost services.”
Because they had been active in the community for so long, FVAML realized that there are other services that are necessities for their community. They are one of the few discounted or low-cost clinics that offer spay/neuter services for rabbits. The organization also offers a wellness clinic that offers vaccinations once a month.
“Because it is so important for us to keep families and pets together, the next phase for us it to open a pet food pantry,” says Wullbrandt. “We’ll distribute food to people in need when they come in for the spay/neuter days or wellness clinics instead of doing traditional distribution. Too many families have had to give up a pet because they can’t afford the food.”
Next year, the organization would like to start offering humane education in their community. The group is currently looking for volunteers to pitch in to provide a wide range of functions – from helping in the clinic with surgeries, recovery, cleaning and sterilizing instruments and helping out in the wellness clinic once a month. They also need help with fundraising and marketing. Learn more online and follow the FVAWL on Facebook.
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