Though it took years before work on the Columbia County Humane Society's low-cost spay-neuter clinic began, construction took less than a year to complete.
For Humane Society President Donna Evans, the results were worth the wait.
"We have waited so long for this, and it has turned out so nice," she said. "It's definitely top of the line."
The 13.7-acre lot was purchased in 2001 for $157,000, and work started on Dogwood Park, the 1,800-square-foot clinic, in May.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Dogwood Park will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the clinic at 6100 Columbia Road, Appling. The public is invited to attend a cookout at a grand opening Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Guests can register for a free canine DNA test and free feline spay or neutering.
"We want people to come and see it so they know they'd be comfortable to bring their animal here," Evans said. "If you don't get the people into your building, the animals won't come."
Evans compared the clinic's interior to that of a day care.
"This is not a depressing place," she said. "It's a happy place."
Two outdoor areas, each about 70 by 50 feet, are fenced. One area is for post-surgery pets and the other is for adoptable animals.
Evans estimated the clinic's cost, including construction, site work and equipment, at about $800,000. The nonprofit organization received a $485,000 loan and money through fundraising efforts.
Spay prices for cats and dogs range from $50 to $75, and neutering costs between $35 and $60.
If a pet is spayed or neutered at the clinic, it also will receive a free rabies shot. Rabies shots for animals not undergoing surgery costs $5.
The clinic also offers vaccinations, diagnostic testing and microchip implantation.
For those who can't afford the set prices, arrangements will be made on a case-by-case basis, Evans said.
Future work will add a no-kill shelter and dog park, but Evans said there is no timeline for those plans yet.
Dogwood Park will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The facility is booked with animals from area shelter groups until March 25, but people can make appointments by calling (706) 541-2911.
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