Veterinarians are meeting in Asheville today to learn a quicker, more cost-effective way to neuter and spay pets. The Humane Alliance of Western North Carolina is hosting the conference. It operates a spay and neuter service in Buncombe County that sterilizes an average of 24,000 cats and dogs a year. The group can offer the procedure at a lower cost than full service clinics because it performs many at a time in an assembly line.
Karla Brestle is the Medical Director at the Humane Alliance. She says many pet owners need a lower cost option: " Most people who are at or below the poverty level are not able to get their dog spayed or neutered. They might have to choose between buying their child shoes or getting their dog spayed and they shouldn’t have to make that choice."
Brestle says the Alliance has helped reduce the stray population in western North Carolina. She says number of intakes in animal shelters in Buncombe County has decreased 70 percent since they first opened in 1994.