Proposed bill would limit services provided by animal shelters - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Proposed bill would limit services provided by animal shelters

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There are more than 16,000 homeless pets in the Midlands.

Non-profit animal shelters and veterinarians are at odds over the services they provide.

"It interferes with our overall mission," said Denise Wilkinson, Executive Director of Pawmetto Lifeline. She's talking about a bill that would place restrictions on what non-profit shelters can do for animals.

Veterinarians say shelters should focus only on sterilizations and immunizations.

Pawmetto Lifeline also offers dental cleanings and runs Care-a-Van, a mobile, low cost source for vaccines and other products. They also offer boarding.

"We don't want them limiting any services we offer, whether it's dentals, vaccines, spay/neuters," said Wilkinson.

"If you choose to come to our clinic then that's your choice," she said. "If you choose to go to a private vet so be it. We're not complaining that the vets are making too much money. We're not telling them to lower their prices. But if we're offering services at a more affordable rate, then it's your choice if you want to use our services."

Wilkinson said vets are trying to control the prices and the market.

"In no way shape or form is the SCAV trying to inhibit the shelter's mission which is an admirable one which we fully support," said Dr. Brett Felder, DVM.  "The issue is, beyond the scope of sterilizations, beyond micro chipping beyond vaccines, if they want to run a full veterinary hospital and board pets, then that's OK.

"That's part of what America is, but then they should not be operating under the not-for-profit tax-exempt status that they have," he said.

Veterinarians and the shelters are still working through the language of this bill.  It's currently in subcommittee.

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