Here’s a budget-friendly, easy-to-implement idea for you to chew on as we head into the week, courtesy of Aimee St. Arnaud of Open Door Veterinary Care.
With grant opportunities for spay/neuter decreasing as funding shifts to access to care issues, it’s important to keep in mind how crucial S/N services are. “Spay/neuter is often the first service that people need for their pets,” says Open Door Veterinary Care’s Aimee St. Arnaud, “and in many cases it’s the first time they’re seeing a vet. Once we get them in for this initial care, then we can offer ongoing care.”
As clinics look for additional revenue sources, here’s a great idea for bringing in extra bucks to fund both S/N services and provide access to additional care. “Try a Spay It Forward program,” says St. Arnaud. “Simply have staff ask at check-in, ‘Would you like to make a donation so that we can help other pets in need?’”
Note, it’s important to leave the question open-ended. “Don’t ask for an amount,” recommends St. Arnaud. “Expect that some people will give you a dollar; some may not be able to afford a donation, and some will give you 15 or 20 dollars. I see some clinics making upwards of $20,000 a year just by asking that question.” And if you don’t feel comfortable with the ask, start by simply giving out the information on a card at check-in.
This tip is one of many shared in The Association’s recent webinar, “Spay/Neuter: Integral to Access to Care,” which you can access here. And remember, you can apply this concept to fee-waived or pay-your-own-price adoptions programs or a community microchip or vaccine clinic.
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Photo: Open Door Veterinary Care