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Rezoning preps for sale of humane society clinic

Potential buyer plans to keep low-cost spay and neuters

Posted: July 19, 2014 - 11:12pm
Dr. Ken Dougan examines Minnie, a Jack Russell terrier mix, with the help of Catherine Kirby at the Dogwood Park spay-neuter clinic. The Humane Society plans to sell the Columbia Road facility to a buyer who has not been named.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Dr. Ken Dougan examines Minnie, a Jack Russell terrier mix, with the help of Catherine Kirby at the Dogwood Park spay-neuter clinic. The Humane Society plans to sell the Columbia Road facility to a buyer who has not been named.

Columbia County officials approved Tuesday a rezoning request for the Columbia County Humane Society’s Dogwood Park Spay-Neuter Clinic in anticipation of its sale.

The 13.7 acre property at 6100 Columbia Road was rezoned from Residential Agricultural to Special District to accommodate pending changes in county ordinances to allow kennels.

Humane Society President Nancy Bobbitt said the change is to prepare the property for sale.

“This is not a bad thing,” Bobbitt said, adding the potential sale of the clinic is not due to financial stress. “We have an offer from someone who is going to keep it a spay-neuter clinic,” she said. “It’s just one of those situations where an opportunity arose.”

The humane society bought the property near Grovetown in 2001 and construction began on the 1,800-square-foot clinic in mid-2008. The low-cost spay-neuter clinic opened in March 2009.

Bobbitt said the humane society board members weren’t looking to sell the property, but someone offered to purchase the clinic. Bobbitt said she didn’t want to identify the potential buyer, but did say the person is in the veterinary industry and has said intentions are to keep operating it as a low-cost spay-neuter clinic.

Bobbitt said she’s okay with the sale because the goal was to build a low-cost spay-neuter clinic and that was done.

“It will still be low-cost,” Bobbitt said. “The main mission of the spay-neuter clinic will remain the
same.

“That’s still the main goal. It still takes care of what we built it for.”

In it’s five years of operation, the clinic offers spay and neuter services as well as vaccines, diagnostic testing and chip implantation. Bobbitt anticipates the new owners will expand hours of operation and possibly the scope of services offered.

Bobbitt said the Humane Society board talked about the potential sale in regard to future uses of the property. She said they would not have considered the sale if the potential buyers had plans to operate something other than a spay-neuter clinic on the property. The rezoning ensures it will remain a clinic unless any future owners go before county officials for a new zoning.

“We didn’t just jump without looking or thinking about it,” Bobbitt said.

The sale, which Bobbitt anticipates to be final in August or September, allows humane society volunteers to return their focus to finding permanent homes for animals.

“We’re a small group,” Bobbitt said. “We kind of want to just go back to doing out fostering and adopting,” she said. “We accomplished our goal. We built the spay-neuter clinic. It’s a good one. It has a good reputation.”

“It’s just a good win-win.”

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