Veterinarians have agreed to help spay and neuter animals.
SALEM — The purchase of a former veterinary clinic will improve the care of abused animals throughout Columbiana County.
The Salem Humane Society Inc., which operates countywide as the Humane Society of Columbiana County, has bought the clinic at 1825 S. Lincoln Ave.
The private, nonprofit society took out a 20-year mortgage to pay for the property. The amount was not disclosed.
The late Dr. John Liggett was involved in talks at one point to sell the facility to the society.
“The Liggett building is in excellent shape, is perfectly suited for our operation and it made sense financially,” said Jenny Pike, president of the society. “We want to be able to focus on the job we have to do and our mission, which is the care of abused and neglected animals.”
The brick building that dates to about the 1940s has about 6,000 square feet with two stories and a full basement. It has examination and operating rooms, cages for ill cats and dogs, cages for boarded animals, a laundry, a room with a fireplace suitable for a meeting room, rooms for offices, and a built-in garage.
The clinic is located on about an acre of L-shaped land with an entrance on state Route 45 (South Lincoln Avenue) and adjoins and the state Route 45 bypass. Its visibility to motorists would enhance society fund-raising events, Pike said.
The society built a facility at 2180 state Route 45 south of Salem several years ago that houses cats for adoption. A decision will be made later on what to do with that building.
Planning for the transition is under way.
“However, exact details for operation have yet to be finalized. The transition is expected to be complete by midsummer,” she said.
The larger facility means higher operational costs and a need for more volunteers.
Veterinarians are pitching in. Pike said that one vet had agreed to help spay and neuter animals one night a week, and several more vets volunteered to help.
“Taking into account the economic and population issues in Columbiana County, this solution fit the circumstances and uses our resources efficiently,” Pike said.
Brenda Austin, one of two volunteer humane agents working with the society, said it’s difficult to get a handle on the problem when “free kitten” signs are common.
The costs come, she said, when the pets need to be spayed or neutered and need shots or medication.
Austin said she has been working in East Liverpool where there were many litters of animals at homes on the same street.
The county is seeing an increase in foreclosure dogs, where people have lost their homes but leave the animal inside when they leave.
Austin said of the abused animals, “We have to get the numbers down.”
The society works with Angels for Animals in Mahoning County, the county dog pound, the Alley Cat Aid Brigade and St. Francis Animal Welfare Center, both in Wellsville, other organizations and individuals who take in animals until they can be placed in homes. The animals often go to homes outside the county.
X To support the humane society through membership, donation or volunteering, call (330) 332-2600 or visit www.columbianahumane.org. A link can take visitors to www.petfinder.com, where local animals can be adopted.