Free clinic to help owners vaccinate pets

CUTLINE: Denise Brown, with the City of Stlwell, can provide a pet license when people come by City Hall. On Tuesday she stopped by the Animal Control shelter to see the two new puppies that hope to find a forever home together. Renee Fite | Democrat Journal

So many people consider pets their four-legged family members. Not everyone who loves a pet can afford vaccinations, though, so a free clinic is coming to Stilwell on June 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Carson Park, and 250 animals will be vaccinated free of charge.

This will be a first-come, first-served free clinic.

The City of Stilwell Animal Control has partnered with Tahlepaws of Tahlequah, Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter (PAAS) of Vinita and Oklahoma Humane of Oklahoma City to host the Stilwellness Pet Clinic. The clinic is just to vaccinate pets of Adair County for free.

Tahlepaws received two grants, one from Cherokee Nation and the other from PAAS of Vinita, to vaccinate up to 250 animals. A limited supply of donated pet supplies  – food, beds, crates, doggie doors, from Chewy.com – will be given away, and donations of items, funds and time by volunteers are also being accepted.

“We do need more support for the event. Anyone looking to help with the event by donating supplies, like food, leashes, collars, animal toys, or wanting to donate their time to help with the event or wishes to make a monetary donation can contact Rick Ford or Martin "Tiny" Lopez of Animal Control at 918-575-4454,” said Shawn Noel, animal control manager.

All donation proceeds in excess of event supplies will go to Paws and Hooves Animal Shelter to help with the cost of taking in and processing animals picked up by animal control, said Noel.

The reason for the event is due, in part, to the pet population throughout the county, Noel said.

“There are a lot of domesticated animals within the county, and a large number of these animals are not vaccinated. There are several health concerns with the animals that the control officers have dealt with: ringworm, mange, rabies, parvo, to name a few. This poses a danger to the community both on a health standpoint and a safety issue,” Noel said.

Diseased animals are more unpredictable and these diseases can be transferred from animal to animal, he said.

“If a rabid animal were to bite a citizen of the county, the citizen would have to go through a series of shots that are not comfortable,” he said.

Citizens can be fined $165 because animals cannot be licensed without the vaccines – dogs and cats, Noel said.

The clinic will save a person between $50 and $100 in vaccinations and fees.

On average, animal control handles three calls a day, plus the cleaning and caring for animals, followup investigations, notices/hand fliers, etc.

“ We bring back as many animals as we can to the owners the first time. The second contact usually results in capturing and bringing the animal to the shelter, the third contact is a trip to the shelter and citation, and the fourth contact results in confiscation of the animal,” Noel said.

One of the reasons for patrol by the animal control officers is to see where the pets live so the animal can be returned if found wondering around. They also are checking for licensing.