POPP plans to transform dental office into spay and neuter clinic
PASCO, Wash. — After years of waiting, a local nonprofit will be able to offer a new, needed service to the Tri-Cities community.
Pet Overpopulation Prevention Tri-Cities, formerly based out of West Richland, recently bought and moved into a former dental clinic at 1502 N. Road 40 in Pasco. They plan to turn the facility into a spay and neuter clinic.
“This dream has been 25 years in the making,” said Erin Vasquez, development & community outreach coordinator for POPP.
The overall goal is to prevent pet overpopulation – a problem the director of the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter sees regularly.
“It’s a big stress on us when people are just constantly coming through the doors with boxes of kittens and no mom,” said Deb Sporcich.
Just last month, three kittens were run over in Pasco after being abandoned in a box on the side of the highway.
“People are leaving moms and dads out there running around unaltered, and it’s not responsible,” said Sporcich. “A lot of our energy is spent just trying to find spay and neuter appointments – affordable spay and neuter appointments.”
Sometimes, Tri-Cities Animal Shelter staff have to travel as far as Yakima and Walla Walla for these surgeries. Other times, they end up having to transfer the animals to facilities in Seattle, because they don’t have the room.
POPP is one of the local organizations that helps the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter with these surgeries, allowing them to stay local and keep it affordable. But up until now, POPP hasn’t conducted any of these surgeries – they’ve just helped facilitate and cover fees.
The new clinic will allow them to not only provide discounted services but conduct the surgery themselves. While staff at POPP are excited about the new facility, COVID-19 hasn’t made it easy.
“It’s challenging because all of our fundraisers have essentially been postponed,” said Vasquez.
And though they aren’t open yet to serve pet owners, when one woman stopped by a couple weeks ago with a cat she found with a broken leg, they felt they needed to step in to help. They’re now asking for the community to help raise $1,000 for Hattie to get surgery.
For the latest updates and more on fundraising efforts, visit the Pet Overpopulation Prevention Facebook page.