Lois Redmond of Howe admits to having a soft spot for dogs.
A member of Kentuckiana Pug Rescue, she’s known for taking in canines in distress – like Pixie, a mixed Boston terrier and pug who walks with a limp from deformed front legs, and Zach, a Lhasa apso whose owner had to go into a nursing home.
So that’s why the 82-year-old woman came to the H.O.P.E. for Animals clinic in Fort Wayne on Saturday to take advantage of a new feature of the agency’s second annual Pet Adopt-A-Thon – low-cost vaccinations.
“I’m an old lady. I live on a fixed income,” said Redmond, filling out paperwork so the dogs could receive rabies and parvovirus/distemper protection.
“This is inexpensive compared to a vet.”
Madeleine Laird, the non-profit clinic’s executive director, said the clinic decided to add the services to the event because the lingering recession has led to an increasing need.
When money is tight, people commonly neglect their own health care, she said, and sometimes that of their animal companions.
“I understand completely when somebody has to choose between their own medicine and their dog’s medicine,” Laird said.
Vaccinations, she added, are just another way for the non-profit to achieve its goal of reducing the need for euthanizing cats and dogs.
Rabies, parvovirus and heartworm can cause otherwise healthy animals to be euthanized – if the diseases don’t kill the pets outright, she said. Preventive methods also are much cheaper than treating diseases, Larid added.
H.O.P.E. for Animals’ main activity is offering low-cost neutering and spaying services. Clinic vets have performed more than 15,000 of those surgeries in the last two years.
The clinic, 1333 Maycrest Road, will continue to offer vaccinations on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. A rabies vaccination is free with the purchase of a combination parvovirus and distemper shot for $15.
Low-cost heartworm tests and prevention also will be offered, as well as low-cost microchipping. About 20 vendors and rescue organizations will have pets available for adoption.
Heather and J.R. Dahman of Fort Wayne brought their two huskies, Coki, 5, and Baron, 3, to get them brought up to date on their shots. Heather Dahman says the couple could afford to take the dogs to their vet, but they like supporting the clinic.
Still, with two animals requiring multiple shots, they knew they were saving money.
“It would cost close to $200 with our regular vet,” Heather, 38, said, adding she expected to pay between $60 and $80 instead.
“We would have to take it (the difference) from other things,” she said. “It all adds up.”