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SC Spay/Neuter Clinics Bill

A bill in committee at the South Carolina legislature could limit some of the services that spay and neuter clinics provide--potentially putting some out of business.

That could be a negative for some low-income pet owners who rely on these clinics to provide services they can't typically afford at a veterinarian's office.

"A clinic like this one is needed, because 86% of our clients have never been to a vet because they can't afford a vet," says Christina Richards, who works at the Animal Allies Clinic in Spartanburg.

The bill was introduced in February, but stalled in committee. Representative David Hiott (R-Pickens) says in the past few weeks, legislators have been visiting clinics and negotiating with people on both sides of the issue.

Opponents of the bill say it could hurt clinics, even shut some down, particularly those located in humane societies.

"If those services are impacted at all, it could jeopardize the financial stability of those organizations," said Karen Martin, political activist who helped Animal Allies during its early days of operation. "Those are the ones in danger of having to close their doors because of this bill."

But supporters say that's not true. The South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, who helped push this bill, says the bill would not affect spay and neutering services, nor would it affect any services provided to low-income pet owners.

"There are some groups in the state who really are outside of their mission statement," says SCAV president Pat Hill. "They're not providing good service to their clients and are not providing good care for their patients and have many other questionable activities that we're in the process of trying to ferret out, and trying to find the best way of ensuring that the public is protected and getting what they think they're getting when they go into one of these groups."


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