Low-cost vet clinic may open in Elgin
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.
Pet Health and Safety
What: Pet Health and Safety event
When: 1 to 4 p.m. April 14
Where: Lower level of The Hemmens, 45 Symphony Way
How much: The City of Elgin will host a vaccination and microchipping clinic for Elgin residents. The $35 cost includes a rabies vaccine, a booster shot and Kane or Cook county tags and registration. Microchips are available for an additional $30. The event is cash only and both dogs and cats are welcome but must be leashed at all times.
What to bring: Government-issued photo ID with proof of Elgin residency
Details: Call (847) 214-5861.
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.
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