DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Being a retiree trying to make ends meet, it’s been hard to pay for health care for my two Corgis. Are there free clinics in my area where I can get my dogs’ shots more cheaply? — Francis H., Oklahoma City, Okla.
DEAR FRANCIS: Low-cost and sometimes free vaccination clinics for pets are available at different times of the year across the country. These are held by public service agencies (such as county or city shelters), though some are privately sponsored. The clinics typically offer the immunizations required of dogs and cats (and sometimes other animals like ferrets) and license tags. Some also offer services like health checks and microchipping. Prices range from $5 to $25, on average.
The problem, of course, is finding one near you.
These days, the Internet is a great resource for locating announcements for low-cost clinics. However, not everyone has access to the Internet. And sometimes, the agencies or institutions sponsoring those clinics can’t advertise widely, or are hard to locate in an Internet search.
In these cases, your best bet is to regularly check locally published newspapers and magazines that focus on your community for announcements about upcoming clinics. Another way is to call the local shelters, or the city or county government, to find out if any such clinics will be held in the near future.
I’ll do my best to list upcoming clinics in as many locations as possible at www.pawscorner.com. In the meantime, keep checking with your local government or animal shelter for the next dates, times and locations of their low-cost clinics.