If you visit the Animal Coalition of Tampa Spay/Neuter Clinic on Lemon Street on a typical day, you'll see clients braving the summer heat and storms under tents pitched in the parking lot.
Affectionately called the "waiting room,'' the tents are a temporary solution to space issues experienced by the clinic. With an average of 20,000 animals served per year, the clinic has outgrown its 3,000-square-feet space and plans to move to a new building on Gilchrist Avenue on October 9.
"We needed so much to come together for the building to be right,'' says Linda Hamilton, the clinic's founder and executive director.
The new building, located four blocks from the current one, was chosen because of its proximity to the existing space (to keep their dedicated staff and clients), large parking area, reasonable rent, ideal size and layout.
With the mission of ending unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats in Hillsborough County, the Spay/Neuter Clinic
first opened in 2006 to provide low cost, high quality spay/neuter services to low-income residents. Since then, services have been expanded to include vaccine packages and even life-saving surgeries.
"It's because of the community's reactions to our services that moving became such a critical need,'' says Hamilton. "People bring in a pet they have saved from the street or a shelter, and they are able to give it a home because of our affordable prices.''
The new building will allow ACT to offer pet care classes for the public on topics such as managing feral cats and grieving the loss of a pet. They also plan to utilize more volunteers and loan space to local rescue groups for meetings.
"We want our clients to know that someone is there for them, to help them keep their animals in the home rather than surrendering them to a shelter. The building is in honor of the community, who cares and wants to see unnecessary euthanasia finally come to an end,'' says Hamilton.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Linda Hamilton, ACT Spay/Neuter Clinic