Low-cost spay, neuter clinic moving from Freeport to Topsham

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FREEPORT — A spay and neuter clinic that has offered affordable services the last five years in Freeport is moving to Topsham early next month.

The Community Spay-Neuter Clinic is closing  this week at 475 U.S. Route 1 and will move Sept. 3 to 321 Lewiston Road in Topsham, where it will reopen Sept. 8.

“We found a location that works really, really well,” Dr. Elizabeth Stone, the clinic’s director and lead veterinarian, said Sunday.

Stone said the clinic’s five-year lease is expiring at the same time that its clientele is tending to come from the north and Downeast.

Along with offering affordable services for dogs and cats at least 8 weeks old and of a certain weight, the clinic also provides free transportation for clients from Bangor, Waterville, Augusta, and Hancock County.

“We’ll be closer to all of that,” Stone said, noting the need is greater in that area, and there are more resources for people to the south.

The clinic, part of the Humane Alliance and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’s National Spay-Neuter Response Team, has sterilized more than 18,000 dogs and cats since 2010.

“We serve low-income families who cannot otherwise afford this service, and have as our mission to reduce pet homelessness and euthanasia,” according to the clinic’s Facebook page.

The high volume of operations it performs allows the clinic to keep its prices low.

“It’s all we do,” Stone said. “Most people just find the cost a barrier. They want to (have the operation done), and they want to reduce problem behaviors, and they know it’s the right thing. But cost is a major concern.”

Which is where Stone’s clinic – which averages 30 surgeries a day – comes in.

Unsterilized cats can be known for “oops litters,” she said, adding that “some people aren’t really aware of how quickly it happens, but the first litter (can happen) at six months,” with three litters a year, and an average of six cats per litter.

“When people call us, and they’ve got too many cats, we’re very understanding,” Stone said.

The clinic will keep the same hours – Monday through Wednesday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. – and staff size. Its “Action for Animals” summer camp for youths aged 9-13 will continue, too, and may become a year-round activity, Stone said.

Forty volunteers from IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, which has selected the clinic as the recipient of its annual community service hours, have signed up to help in the Sept. 3 move. Several local businesses are providing food for the movers, Stone said.

The clinic is also seeking volunteers to work in the new office. Log onto communityspayneuterclinic.com for more information, or call 721-8395.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Dr. Elizabeth Stone is director and lead veterinarian of the Community Spay-Neuter Clinic in Freeport, which is moving to Topsham early next month.

The Community Spay-Neuter Clinic will move to 321 Lewiston Road in Topsham on Sept. 3, and open five days later.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.