In the one year the Christian-David Healthy Pet Clinic has been open at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) in Gainesville, the staff has served 7,500 families and 11,000 pets; that's up to 50 appointments per day.
That number includes 19,000 vaccines and record sales in heartworm preventative, according to HSNEGA Executive Director Julie Edwards.
"There is such a need in our community - and North Georgia - for affordable vet services," Edwards said during Wednesday's one-year anniversary celebration at the clinic. "The need has been more than we could have anticipated."
Edwards said while the staff at the clinic has done a remarkable job serving pet owners who need low-income care for their animals, they have struggled at times to keep up with the demand.
"Sometimes we've had really long wait times...we've had three to four hour waits, so we're working on that now to improve the services this summer," Edwards said.
Part of the solution is to hire a third veterinarian for the clinic.
"We're actively recruiting right now for another full-time veterinarian to join our team. Hopefully that will happen in May-June, so within the next couple of months," Edwards said.
Once the additional vet is on staff, that will enable expansion of clinic hours, so that more pets can get the help they need.
"So, we're looking at adding every Saturday, we're looking at adding an additional day of surgery for our spay-neuter center, as well, which is part of the Healthy Pet Clinic," Edwards said.
Edwards said she thinks the Healthy Pet Clinic is one of the only one of its kind in the state of Georgia. That's made the facility a destination for pet owners from all over the region, some of them traveling hours to get to Gainesville for low-cost care for pets.
To find out more about the Christian-David Healthy Pet Clinic and the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, follow this link.