Suspension of Elk Grove's low cost spay and neuter services enters sixth month; Still no full-time city staff veterinarian

A posting on the city of Elk Grove's website shows the temporary suspension of the popular low-cost spay and neuter services offered by the animal services department continues.

Below is an image of that announcement.

The city was contacted today asking about the suspension of services and its reasons.  

Sarah Humlie, the city's animal services manager, issued the following statement. The statement said:  

"The low-cost spay and neuter program was temporarily suspended in October 2023 due to the vacancy in our full-time veterinarian position. The animal shelter is currently employing contract veterinarians to provide medical treatment and services to the shelter animals, but capacity does not allow for operating the low-cost spay and neuter program on top of that. We intend to resume offering the program when the full-time veterinarian position is filled; there is currently no anticipated date to report."

For several months last year, many trap, neuter, and release cat advocates ferociously urged Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and the city council to allocate more public funds to animal services. An example of TNR advocacy can be seen in the video below.

The city's website displays a veterinarian opening posted for over 30 days. In a report during the October 11, 2023, city council meeting, after repeated badgering by TNR advocates, city manager Jason Behrmann addressed their concerns.

Behrmann said efforts were underway to address animal shelter staffing deficiencies, including recruiting a replacement veterinarian (see Behrmann's entire commentary in the second video below). 

"To be clear our veterinarian has been gone less than two weeks, she left on September 29," Behrmann said. "Since then, we've brought in contract veterinarian service to continue to provide the necessary services for the animals in the animal shelter. There is an impact on TNR, we admit that."

A story published today by the Guardian titled "'A soul killer': what's behind the US's critical veterinarian shortage?" notes the nationwide problem has many reasons, not the least of which is on-the-job-stresses. The story notes, "The lack of veterinarians and veterinary professionals has been attributed to the high cost of entry, long hours, and the stress of dealing with animal owners in life and death situations."

Separately, today, Sacramento County announced two free spay and neuter clinics will be held for Sacramento County residents in March for their dogs and cats. Information on those clinics is available here.  

Photo by Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

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1 comment

Golden Skillet said...

I'm no Ace Ventura, so my knowledge is limited on this subject. But if the city can't run a simple program like this, how are we so sure they can run a zoo?

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