Asheville Humane Society Launches Mobile Medical Unit

Asheville Humane Society Mobile Medical Unit to Address Spay/Neuter Crisis

The unit will initially focus on meeting the spay/neuter demand of AHS' animals with plans to provide public services in the future

Asheville Humane Society (AHS) is launching a Mobile Medical Unit to address and meet the spay/neuter (S/N) demand in shelter animals, with plans to expand outreach and provide public services in the future. The 37-ft clinic will feature a surgery suite and prep/exam areas and be primarily parked at 14 Forever Friend Lane.

As the only open-admission shelter in Buncombe County, AHS provides a safety net for community animals and ensures that all companion animals adopted out are spayed/neutered in accordance with Buncombe County law. The unit’s initial priority will be meeting the S/N demand of animals in AHS’ care to ensure that all animals are S/N in a timely manner. Once S/N demand for shelter animals is met, AHS anticipates being able to increase access to veterinary care in key communities that need it most through collaboration with Community Solutions.

A generous donor has pledged a $25,000 match to help Asheville Humane Society reach its $75,000 goal for the van purchase and start-up costs.

Post-COVID-19, there has been a lack of affordable spay/neuter options for shelter animals and the public. This has caused unwanted litters in the community, and a backlog of animals in the shelter needing to be altered before adoption. The Mobile Medical Unit will provide AHS with a reliable source of affordable spay/neuter services for shelter animals, effectively reducing length of stay, overcapacity, and overcrowding. Additionally, AHS will be better equipped to reduce the risk of illness/disease outbreaks and manage staff stress from coordinating S/N requests through third parties.

“The addition of the long-awaited mobile medical unit at Asheville Humane is crucial for maintaining top-notch care for our shelter pets, meeting our community’s expectations,” says Dr. Chelsea Fogal, medical director at AHS. “It will not only address the access challenges for spay and neuter surgeries due to Covid but also enable life-saving procedures in-house for our shelter animals while enhancing the support and services for pets across Buncombe County through our dedicated Community Solutions team.”

Once the S/N demand is met in AHS’ animal population, the Mobile Medical Unit will also be able to perform additional in-house surgeries currently contracted out. These include mass removals, digit/limb amputations, ear and eye surgeries, and exploration/foreign body surgeries. Once fully operational, 22 surgeries will be completed a day, four times a week. AHS will hire one veterinarian, one vet tech, and one vet assistant. The Asheville Spay/Neuter Alliance (ASNA) will provide a training period for the first 4 months of operations.

Adam Cotton, Director of Community Solutions adds, “Our new mobile medical unit will be a game-changer for accessible, affordable pet care in Buncombe County. By bringing veterinary services directly to the community, both through ongoing wellness clinics and, eventually, through spay/neuter services, we’ll be making sure that community-owned pets can receive the care they need with their owners’ budget in mind.”

About Asheville Humane Society:

Since 1984, we’ve dedicated ourselves to ensuring every animal has the quality of life they deserve – a life worth living. Now, we go beyond our walls to help create a more humane community for pets and the people who love them.
Asheville Humane Society is a local, independent nonprofit not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States.