TWINSBURG, Ohio — The Humane Society of Summit County is welcoming a new state-of-the-art mobile veterinary clinic that will serve residents and pets of Summit County.
The mobile clinic is named MABEL, which stands for "Making Animals Better and Enriching Lives." The mobile clinic aims to do just that and helps create a more compassionate community for pets and the people who love them.
MABEL will allow for an expansion beyond the four walls of the shelter and to be a resource for the community to prevent animal suffering and to keep pets in their loving homes.
"This is for folks who don’t seek out traditional veterinary care. We will take the MABEL into neighborhoods where there’s the highest need, and where we feel people are that need this kind of service," explains Diane Johnson, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Summit County.
The MABEL vehicle is a self-contained clinic with the capacity to provide high quality spay and neuter services, vaccinations, and microchipping. Services will be provided at low-cost and a fund has been set up to provide free services to residents who would not otherwise be able to afford them.
The vehicle is 28 feet and can hold up to 25 cats or small dogs. The vehicle will travel to partner locations throughout the county visiting economically disadvantaged neighborhoods that do not have veterinary clinics and will provide services on site.
MABEL has the capacity for intake care, surgery preparation, anesthesia and climate control so services can be provided year-round.
"This is for folks who don’t seek out traditional veterinary care. We will take the MABEL into neighborhoods where there’s the highest need, and where we feel people are that need this kind of service," Johnson adds.
Humane Society officials say that the need in Summit County for affordable and accessible veterinary care is great and it is growing. Compounded by the economic effects of the pandemic, affordable options for medical care are distant from high-need communities and several resources have closed. Pet ownership has increased though. Summit Humane receives over 50 calls per month requesting veterinary care and over half of those calls are spay/neuter services being requested.
National studies have shown that the lack of affordable pet care is a leading reason for animals to be surrendered to shelters. The overpopulation of cats and animals, in general, is a growing problem in Summit County. The shelter cares for more than 1,000 kittens yearly.
The ultimate goal of MABEL is to keep pets in their homes and to provide resources to Summit County pet owners especially those who have not had access to veterinary care.