Clinic addresses pet overpopulation problem

BJ FOX PHOTO Companions Clinic director Marie Betancourt and Dr. Ferrell Larousse check on a pet in his recovery cage just before he can go home.

Companions Spay and Neuter Clinic was established in 2007 by the Humane Society of Faulkner County in response to the pet overpopulation problem in and around Faulkner County. Companions is a low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

Their paid staff of five people work with more than 25 volunteers who come in daily to attend to the recovery of dogs and cats.

Clinic Director Marie Betancourt said, “We never turn people away because they cannot afford the fee. Our services are open to the general public regardless of income or residency. We offer vaccinations on the day of a scheduled spay [or] neuter or at our monthly vaccination clinic.”

Their full time veterinarian, Dr. Ferrell Larousse, has been with the clinic six years and attends to each animal from arrival until their departure the same day.

Larousse relocated from southern Louisiana after hurricane Katrina where he had been an emergency veterinarian for more than 20 years.

Spaying takes about 30 minutes and little males can be done in 10 minutes or less. All are done with a general anesthesia and are not allowed to leave until they are fully awake and approved by Dr. Larousse.

He said, “This is a simple surgery and we have a fantastic track record of success at this clinic. We have done over 15,000 surgeries in the last five years. That’s a good dent in the population!”

Companions’ purpose is to curtail the overpopulation of pets. It is their mission to promote responsible pet ownership by providing an affordable means to spay/neuter. They are open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays as spring season begins for spay/neuter.

A vaccination clinic is held one Saturday each month. February’s clinic is this Saturday, Feb. 15 from 1-3 p.m. The vaccine clinic is open to the general public regardless of income and place of residence and is run on a first-come, first-serve basis, although no-one is turned away once they are registered. The vaccine clinic offers low-cost vaccinations ($25 annual canine or feline package), heartworm testing, worming, micro-chip identification, nail trims, heartworm and flea/tick prevention — cash or check only.

Financial assistance programs are offered through the Sloan Swindle Memorial Fund (Voucher Program) and The Sponsor-A-Pet Program — based on need.

Feb. 25 is also World Spay Day, and Companions is running a sale Feb. 24-28 for just $25.

You must call 501-679-7900 for an appointment. The Clinic is located at 589 Hwy. 6 in Greenbrier.

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