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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Dr. Rachel Tears says the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has been eyeing low cost clinics like the one she runs, Alabama Animal Alliance, since it opened in 2007.
"There has not been a tremendous amount of support from the state vet board," Alabama Animal Alliance, Inc. President and Executive Director Dr. Rachel Tears said.
Dr. Tears says the soul purpose of the clinic is to reduce unnecessary animal euthanasia with spay and neuter surgeries.
"Initially, I think they were concerned about competition. They thought that we would be taking their customers, but 86% of our clients have never seen a vet, so I can guarantee you that is not the case," Dr. Tears said.
She says the board has suggested that perhaps there is no overpopulation problem at all, and that the services provided by these clinics aren't needed.
"We've done more than 36,000 surgeries since October 2007," Dr. Tears said.
But she says the state vet board is trying to change that.
"They essentially want to make it so that a non-veterinarian, who would be myself, the director of the non-profit could not contract with a veterinarian. They can't provide equipment, they can't provide medication. They can't provide anything to that veterinarian to do veterinarian services," Dr. Tears said.
Dr. Rebecca Davidson contracts with the clinic to perform surgeries.
"I don't know what they are trying to achieve with this action. I think the community would suffer a loss if we were not able to continue," Dr. Davidson said.
Many of the animals brought to these clinics belong to people who can't afford to fix their animals. Shelters like the Montgomery Humane Society would have no where to turn.
"It would eliminate the ability for us to do vaccines, euthanasia, have a vet come out and assist us in some of the processes we have, rather they are cruelty cases or animals we are trying to say. It could potentially be crippling to the shelter," Montgomery Humane Shelter Director Steve Tears said.
We reached out to the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, but members refused to comment. WSFA 12 News wad directed to a press release that said a "rules" hearing will be held on October 10th at their office on Commerce street.
Clinic supports are encouraging residents to write letters to the state vet board demanding it keep these clinics operating. Click on the link below to find more information on how to join the effort.