Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
An animal clinic that provides low-cost spay and neuter services might soon be forced to close. News reports strongly hint that veterinarians who resent the clinic's low-cost services are driving the action. In other words, greed might win out over a good-faith effort to address pet overpopulation.
Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic, which has operated in the Birmingham suburb of Irondale for three years, received a certified letter dated June 9 from Tammy S. Wallace, executive director of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (ASBVME). The letter alleged that the clinic is not owned by a veterinarian, placing it in violation of Alabama Code, and ordered the clinic to "cease and desist from any practice that would fall under the definition of veterinary practice in Alabama."
There is only one problem with ASBVME's position: The Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic is owned by a veterinarian. Reports The Birmingham News:
According to Mark Nelson, executive director of the nonprofit Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic, Birmingham veterinarian William B. Weber is the clinic owner. Weber also owns Eastwood Animal Clinic. He said Weber employs, manages and pays the veterinarians on the clinic staff. The clinic owns the equipment and employs support staff. Nelson said the arrangement is within state guidelines, and that the clinic's board of directors will actively pursue a hearing to prevent the shutdown.
What is the mission of the Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic? The "About Us" page on the clinic's Web site sums it up:
Each year, Alabama animal shelters euthanize over 150,000 dogs and cats. Three out of four are healthy, adoptable dogs and cats waiting to be someone's loving pet. The fate of these animals was the incentive for the creation of the Alabama Spay/Neuter. Incorporated as a (501-C-3) non-profit organization in March 2007, Alabama Spay/Neuter's Board of Directors felt that opening a facility that provided high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neutering was the only sustainable way to end the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Central Alabama