Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/11/2012 1:12 PM

Low-cost vet clinic may open in Elgin

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Veterinary technician Rachel Johnson, left, and volunteer Terri Swegler prepare a female pit bull mix to be spayed at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin. The shelter will no longer offer its low-cost clinics for spaying/neutering and vaccinations anymore, because it was costing the shelter too much money.

       Veterinary technician Rachel Johnson, left, and volunteer Terri Swegler prepare a female pit bull mix to be spayed at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin. The shelter will no longer offer its low-cost clinics for spaying/neutering and vaccinations anymore, because it was costing the shelter too much money.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 

As the Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin phases out its low-cost medical clinic Elgin City Council members will consider allowing similar services to be provided in their downtown.

Jack Graff, executive director of the shelter, said the medical clinic will be maintained for animals internally but it has stopped taking appointments from the public.

Until this month, Anderson's low-cost spay/neuter program offered the surgical procedures for between $80 and $170 to the community, depending on the size of the animal and whether it was a dog or cat.

But Graff said offering the services got too expensive.

"There are organizations that provide spay and neuter and vaccination services much more effectively than we can," Graff said. "It's not what we do best."

The change will mean Anderson can focus exclusively on pet shelter and adoptions services, while directing the public to other clinics in the area. Graff specifically recommends the Fox Valley Animal Welfare League clinic, which recently opened in North Aurora and charges between $30 and $80 for spaying and neutering services depending on the animal and income-level of the owner.

But Elgin area residents soon may not need to travel so far.

Debra Rykoff, founder of Fur Keeps Animal Rescue in Barrington Hills, purchased a house at 251 Center St. in Elgin and hopes to turn it into a low-cost clinic for various vet services, including spaying and neutering.

"There's a lot of people who can't afford $400 for a dog spay or a $500 bill if the dog has an upset tummy," Rykoff said. "I think people would do the right thing and be responsible toward their animal's medical care if it were made affordable to them."

Rykoff's petition for a conditional use for the property passed through the planning and development commission in a vote of 5 to 3 but Rykoff is still concerned the council will reject it.

Animals will not be kept in the clinic overnight and only one vet is expected to perform surgeries daily, so the business will not draw heavy traffic or have activity outside of business hours.

Rykoff hopes to succeed with a low-cost clinic where Anderson couldn't because of light staffing plans and her years of experience as a vet with connections to discount supply companies.

If the council approves the petition Wednesday, Rykoff will be free to move forward with plans for her facility.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here