wechs veterinary clinic

clinic faqs

Why aren’t there appointments available for dog surgeries anymore?

Dog surgeries take longer than cat spays and neuters, so fewer can be performed in the same period of time. The Windsor/Essex County Humane Society Veterinary Clinic was opened to address a crisis of cat overpopulation, and therefore our primary focus for surgeries is cats. Especially for owned cats, access to affordable spay/ neuter is very limited in our community, and there are too many pet cats and community cats having unplanned kittens. Some dog surgical appointments are available for situations where there is a demonstrated financial need like our Rex’s Legacy, Spay Your Mama, pyometra program, and other targeted programs. While there has been a dramatic decrease in cat overpopulation, it is still a crisis in southwestern Ontario so cats remain our primary focus.

Do these types of clinics compete with private veterinarians?

Data collected at these clinics in other areas shows that many spay/neuter clients have no previous relationship with a veterinarian (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30179099/). These are similar to the numbers we have found at our clinic where more than 75% of clients have not previously seen a veterinarian. A paper published in the journal Ecological Economics reported the following “…[T]here are a number of people who have argued that low-cost spay/neuter programs merely cannibalize regular spay/neuter procedures rather than increasing total spay/neuter levels… The results of this study present strong evidence that neither of these cannibalization or substitution effects take place, or at least if they occur, they are more than compensated for by positive spill over effects (i.e. a complement effect) in adoption and spay/neuter efforts. The evidence is particularly strong in the case of spay/neuter procedures, where discount programs appear to significantly promote regular spay/neuter procedures.”

Who is allowed to use the clinic?

Our clinic primarily follows the ASPCA Spay Neuter Alliance model of offering broad access rather than utilizing limited staff resources to screen out clients, and therefore there are no overall limitations on geographic area or income verification.  There are some specific services, like walk-in appointments for community cats, that are limited to Windsor and Essex County cats because the goal of those programs is to reduce the number of unwanted pets coming in to out shelter.  Other services, like dog spays and neuters, are so highly in demand that we have been forced to limit those to situations of demonstrated financial need (see more information above).

Do these types of clinics actually reduce the number of animals who enter shelters?

Clinics utilizing this spay/neuter model in the US have reduced shelter admissions and euthanasia by over 70% (https://www.hsvma.org/) There have been no known scientific papers or credible cases presented, either theoretical or empirical, that argue against a negative relationship between shelter intake and total spay/neuter levels (https://faunalytics.org/). In just the first year of our clinic’s operation, we saw a dramatic decrease in the intake of stray and owner surrendered cats at the Humane Society.

How can I hear about the latest news about the clinic?

If you’re on Facebook, please “Like” the clinic page: https://www.facebook.com/windsorhumanevetclinic for all the latest information and updates about the clinic – including specials!

Where is the Humane Society Veterinary Clinic located?

The Clinic is located in a stand-alone building next to the Humane Society. The address is 1375 Provincial Road, Windsor.

Does the clinic do other procedures beside spaying and neutering?

The clinic offers vaccinations and other basic services, but normally only at the time of spay/neuter or during specific wellness service days (occasionally special stand-alone vaccine or microchip clinics may be offered). For annual examinations and emergency care pet owners are encouraged to develop an ongoing relationship with a community veterinarian.

Does the government subsidize this clinic?

The clinic is self-sustaining, and is self-funding through fees charged for surgeries. The funds to build the veterinary clinic came through private donations and fundraising as well as a generous stimulus grant from the federal and provincial governments. The City of Windsor made a contribution to the clinic construction in the amount of just over $10,000 by waiving the fees that the Humane Society would otherwise have paid as part of the building permit approval process, but there were no other municipal contributions to the clinic.

Is it really important to fix my animal?

Cat overpopulation continues to be a serious issue in southwestern Ontario. In addition, spaying or neutering your pet reduces health risks and improves behaviour in both cats and dogs, especially when done early. Some people feel that they should allow their pet to have one litter, but spaying a female cat or dog before she goes into heat even once will greatly reduce her risk of developing mammary, ovarian and uterine cancer.

Is this clinic involved with TNR (trap-neuter-release) programs?

This clinic is actively assisting individuals and groups working on TNR programs. Caregivers are asked to bring feral cats in to the clinic in a live trap as this is the safest way for our staff to handle them with the least stress to the cat. All feral/community cats will be ear tipped to identify from a distance that they are spayed or neutered and microchipped to provide them with a permanent link to their caregiver. All feral cats altered at the clinic also receive a free FVRCP vaccine, to help keep the community cat population healthier. Visit here for more information about our community cat package.

How is the clinic able to keep their prices so low? Is my vet gouging me? Or is your clinic cutting corners?

Your pet will be provided with high quality care by a licensed and skilled veterinarian and registered veterinary technicians. Our supplies and medications are the same as those available at any other veterinary clinic. All animals are provided with pain medication following surgery, and have the same procedure as they would at a regular clinic.

 

We are able to keep our prices as low as we do for several reasons:

 

  • Our clinic is a high volume clinic – whereas many clinics will do only a few surgeries a day and spend much of their time on wellness visits, emergencies, and critical care, we only offer spay & neuter services. This high volume is used by many spay/neuter clinic to achieve cost savings.

  • Our organization is a registered charity, which means we save on some taxes that would have to be paid by a private business and are able to pass those savings along.

  • This clinic was built by our community, and donations that we received to help with construction costs.

  • Our clinic is non-profit, and operated on a break-even basis. This is because we are a charity as opposed to a business, where owners rightly expect to make a profit for their work in the business. Veterinarians spend many years in training and invest in their clinics, and while they are doing their jobs because they love animals they also hope to operate a successful business.