Residents of Pine County have had access to low cost pet care for the past two years.
A program was developed, based out of Camp One Heartland of Willow River, after concerns were expressed about reducing the number of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.
Affordable Companion Animal Wellness Services (ACAWS) sets up vet clinics in various locations throughout Pine County once a month during the year. The next clinic will be in Sturgeon Lake on April 2 at the city hall, and the following clinic will be in Denham on April 30 at the Birch Creek Township hall.
“We set up the clinics in town halls and city halls,” said Jill Rudolph, the Camp Director at Camp One Heartland. “We have to have free accommodations. The cities and townships have been very receptive to us and let us use their facilities. We have a very good relationship with them.”
Five or six volunteers and two veterinarians operate the clinics.
“The volunteers are passionate about animals,” said Rudolph. “They are the driving force of this program.”
Pet owners can bring in their cats and/or dogs and have them examined by a veterinarian, who does preventative care.
“Last month was Dental Month,” said Rudolph. “The vet sees that the animals are healthy and that their shots are up to date. The vet educates the owners and the volunteers about problems, such as periodontal disease.”
Another veterinarian comes from the Metro area in an RV equipped for a surgical unit. Animals that need surgery are treated in the surgical unit.
“We’ve seen over 175 animals in the existence of the clinic,” said Rudolph. “We move around the county to be convenient to the people in the area.”
The public has welcomed the vet clinics.
“In the last year we’ve had more cohesive clinics,” said Rudolph. “The existence of the clinics has spread by word of mouth. Each clinic fills up easily and we have a waiting list. We’ve seen a lot of different kinds of dogs and cats come through the doors. It’s been interesting.”
The services available are: wellness exams, vaccinations, deworming, heartworm/tick disease screening, spay/neuter surgery, hernia repair, dental care, small mass removal and more.
Owners are given a free pet kit, consisting of information about pet care.
For more information about the program, call (847) 749-5862. To make an appointment, send an email to ACAWSclinic@gmail.com.