Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield held a ribbon cutting Friday to celebrate the opening of its expanded community clinic.
The clinic, which provides low-cost vaccinations, spaying and neutering and other wellness care services, recently added staff and completed an expanded clinic building after community demand for the clinic’s services boomed, said ACS community liaison Rachel Higham.
The original clinic opened in March 2011 for two days a week, Higham said, and quickly filled up to the point where it was booked two to three months in advance. “There was such an overwhelming community response and such a need” for the clinic’s services that the sanctuary, under the leadership of executive director Joan Smith-Reese, decided to expand, Higham said.
The sanctuary’s maintenance team and staff member Jesse Newell worked long hours to put the new building up in two weeks, Smith-Reese said.
ACS hired an additional veterinarian and veterinary technicians and expanded the larger clinic’s hours to five days a week, Higham said. The new building has two examination rooms, two surgical spaces and a recovery area.
Special guests at Friday’s event included Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director of the Humane Society of the United States, and state Rep. Tina Pickett.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise that there’s a community need” for the services provided by the community clinic, Speed said in a brief speech.
The clinic, she said, goes a long way toward “making sure this entire region has the resources available” to control the pet population and keep pets healthy, she said. Spay and neuter clinics help to control pet overpopulation as well as feral cat colonies, she said.
Because of the sanctuary’s location – on a hill off Milan-East Smithfield Road – Pickett said she thought it was a “well-kept secret.” However, the expansion shows that there is a great need for the services the sanctuary provides at a reasonable cost. “I’m excited about what you’re doing,” she said.
The expanded clinic is staffed by veterinarians Alaire Smith-Miller and Michelle Kaleta, veterinary technicians Jill Elston, Rachelle Shaffer and Amanda Towner and receptionist Ellen Lowery.
The clinic provides spaying and neutering services as well as core vaccines; heartworm, flea and tick treatments; microchipping; nail trims; and routine examinations.
The Community Clinic is open to the public. For more information or to set up an appointment, call the clinic at (570) 596-2270.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: email@example.com.