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Clinic Making Strides With Year Of New Leadership

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Clinic Making Strides With Year Of New Leadership

Cookeville’s Major Mike Shipley Spay and Neuter Clinic has administered some 4,500 pet surgeries since Wags and Whiskers took over the clinic in April of last year.

Wags and Whiskers President Elizabeth Sofia said some 1,500 of those operations have been from volume clients like local animal shelters. She said many Major Mike’s employees stayed on after last April’s closure to help smooth the transition. She said after running the clinic for a year now, the group is getting its bearings and is poised for growth.

“All of us in the animal welfare community are looking forward to a day that we don’t need so many resources and that all animals are well cared for,” Sofia said. “But, I think there is a need that will always exist in this area, and we’re definitely filling the need, but there’s also room for more.”

Sofia said the group now has a full-time practice manager who focuses on productivity and maintaining daily operations. She said another member of the team works closely with fundraising and grant-writing to provide subsidies for those who cannot afford to have their animal spayed or neutered.

As the Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter makes progress on a potential on-site spay and neuter clinic, Sofia said she is thrilled by the proposition of increased volume of care.

“It’s all of our hope that we no longer need a shelter,” Sofia said. “That we no longer need all of these resources; that every animal gets wonderful care. But there’s definitely no shortage of animals that need assistance and people that need assistance in the area, so I’m definitely excited that we’ll have more opportunity or potential for more resources in the area.”

Sofia said many surrounding counties do not have the level of resources currently available in Putnam County. She said a new clinic and continued growth at Major Mike Shipley’s could result in expansion and the ability to supplement the needs across areas of the Upper Cumberland struggling to keep pace with the widespread issue of unspayed pets.

“It was mostly a learning curve for the board just understanding the processes,” Sofia said. “All of us on the board have been involved in animal rescue for a while, but operating business is different.”

She said she could not commend the clinic staff for the role each member has played in ensuring a solid transition.


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