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June 12, 2011 / V A Nichols

Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic threatened with closure

Published: Saturday, June 11, 2011, 1:05 PM     Updated: Saturday, June 11, 2011, 1:46 PM
By Veronica Kennedy — The Birmingham News

Less than a week after marking its third anniversary, the Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic in Irondale was threatened with closure by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Examiners.

The news came in a certified letter June 9 signed by Tammy S. Wallace, executive director of the state board. The letter alleges that the clinic is not owned by a licensed veterinarian and is therefore in violation of Alabama Code.

Wallace was not available for comment on Saturday.

According to Mark Nelson, executive director of the nonprofit Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic, Birmingham veterinarian William B. Weber is the clinic owner. Weber also owns Eastwood Animal Clinic. He said Weber employs, manages and pays the veterinarians on the clinic staff. The clinic owns the equipment and employs support staff. Nelson said the arrangement is within state guidelines, and that the clinic’s board of directors will actively pursue a hearing to prevent the shutdown.

Business will continue as usual on Monday, Nelson said.

The clinic has created a Facebook page, Help Save Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic, to encourage area residents to help the clinic stay open.

The Facebook page says: “We feel strongly that we are operating within the law (as we have been for the past three years),” a post on the page states. “It appears that we will be going to court to resolve this – an unfortunate waste of precious resources. In addition to fighting this in the judicial system, we need a loud outcry from our supporters. Please contact your State representatives and the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.”

Alabama Spay/Neuter clinic opened June 4, 2008, in a temporary mobile unit. Since then, the clinic has moved to a 6,700 square-foot facility where a staff of licensed veterinarians have completed more than 33,000 sterilization surgeries for a 13-county area.

© 2011 al.com.

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