EB Humane Society to close vet hospital

December 15, 2008 10:18:49 PM PST
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society announced today that it will close its veterinary hospital to the public on Feb. 1 in order to focus its resources on caring for its own shelter animals and those at Berkeley Animal Services.

The move ends an era in which thousands of family pets have been seen at the veterinary hospital since the 1950s.

Mim Carlson, the organization's executive director, said in a statement, "The board and I did a lot of analysis and came to the conclusion that running a private veterinary hospital at the same time as giving high-quality medical care to shelter animals is not cost-effective, and prevents us from increasing our capacity to shelter and care for more homeless dogs and cats."

Carlson said the hospital's veterinary staff will continue to provide medical care for Berkeley-East Bay Human Society shelter animals as well as those at Berkeley Animal Services.

The society will also continue to offer its low-cost spay/neuter clinic on Tuesdays.

She said the money to support the hospital will come from the society's current restricted funds as well as from an increase in public donations to offset expenses of those animals with critical medical needs.

"We've always relied on the community to support our programs," Carlson said.

She added that donations are especially important now because of a recent increase in abandoned animals in the city.

The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society has served Berkeley and surrounding communities for more than 80 years.