Eighteen years ago on July 30, the doors opened at Friends of the Animals at Cedar Creek Lake to begin doing spay/neuter surgeries. And 45,000 surgeries later, the clinic is still going strong.

Dr. Glen Campbell, a Dallas veterinarian who comes to Gun Barrel City each Tuesday to perform the surgeries, was named by D Magazine as one of the best vets in Dallas. He has been the veterinarian for the clinic since the day it was opened.

This affordable spay/neuter clinic is a non-profit charity and performs surgery one day a week by appointment only. The clinic is NOT a veterinary practice – and is dependent on donations to stay open. Prices for surgery range from $30 for a male cat to $55 for a large female dog. The clinic also sells Activyl Plus for control of fleas on cats and Simparica for dogs.

Over 45,000 surgeries means that literally millions of little unwanted kittens and puppies will not be born – it means that there will be fewer feral cats and roaming packs of dogs – it means that our community becomes better every day.

For those families for whom even this very low price of surgery is a strain, Friends has a grant to assist with the cost. To qualify for this program of assistance, anyone anywhere may contact:

 • Family Resource Center in Gun Barrel City in person during the hours of 10 a.m. To 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, located just east of the intersection of highways 198 and 334 just inside the Tamarack subdivision

 • Christian Life Center Food Pantry in Gun Barrel City during the hours of

9 a.m. to 1p.m. Tuesday or Thursday. The Church is located on highway 334/Main St.

 • Athens Food Pantry 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday at 715 E. Corsicana St. in Athens.

 • Community Food Pantry 9:30 a.m. To 12:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday at CCL Methodist Church in Tool 903-432-3003.

Litterbox Thrift Store – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 303 N. Prairieville (off the square in Athens) 903-681-4513.

A co-pay is requested but not required. The grant pays for surgery costs but owner is responsible for those other mandatory charges associated with it (usually $14 for cats, up to $46 for male dogs with $20 of that refundable).

Now there is no excuse for not taking responsibility for your pet – and spaying/neutering him/her is the first thing you should do. Every kitten or puppy you allow to be born means one in a shelter has to die. If you know people who would take a kitten or puppy, send them to one of the local shelters – they are loaded with the most adorable animals, all waiting for their own families.

Friends’ clinic also does microchipping of pets. For just $25, a tiny microchip is painlessly inserted into the scruff of the pet’s neck. If the pet ever ends up at a shelter, the staff there will scan him, find the owner’s number and the pet is returned home. No appointment is necessary for this quick procedure but it is done only on Tuesdays between 10am and 2pm, Second-Saturdays of each month from 21--noon or at time of surgery.

To make an appointment for surgery or to find out about volunteering, call 903-887-PETS (-7387). Visit the website at www.friendsoftheanimals.org

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