It normally costs Jeje Hannah about $600 for her four dogs’ veterinary care for the year.
But thanks to Remote Area Medical’s free pet clinic Friday at Braden River High, the Bradenton resident will not have to worry about that expense this year.
“It is a pretty neat event,” Hannah said as she waited with her dogs — Camo, Barkley, Ppetes and Summer — to be seen. “It helps tremendously.”
During the RAM clinic for dogs and cats at the high school, 311 animals were treated on-site and about 30 vouchers were handed out for animals to be treated at a later date.
While the clinic ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, many people arrived with their animals long before the doors opened at 6545 State Road 70.
Bradenton resident Miriam Martinez arrived at 7:30 a.m. with her dog Simba. Martinez wanted to be early so she could make sure Simba received vaccinations.
“It is free and it is actually a big help,” she said. “The shots alone are over $100, so yes, a big help.”
RAM pet clinic volunteer Sue Kolze said the first-time clinic was going well.
“The people and animals are very organized coming in,” she said. “I couldn’t have wanted it to be any better than it is right now.”
During the clinic, animals received vaccinations, nail trimming, ear cleaning, microchipping, county tags and vouchers for free spay/neuter.
“Our position is to always fill a need in the community,” Kolze said. “This is a need for financially challenged people who need healthcare for pets.”
Bradenton resident Jennifer Howell’s two dogs — Gigi and Roxy — and cat Bella were all due for vet check-ups, so the clinic was a help.
“Financially, we can’t afford to take to a vet right now,” Howell said. “It’s good because we have four kids, two incomes, but not enough.”
This is a need for financially challenged people who need healthcare for pets.
Sue Kolze, RAM pet clinic volunteer
Looking around the courtyard at Braden River High, RAM founder Stan Brock said the first RAM animal clinic in Florida had “a great turnout.”
“I’m sure it will be part of the Remote Area Medical events here in Florida in the future as well,” Brock said. “Based on the excellent turnout of the public with their animals, there’s clearly a need for us to make this a regular part of the RAM program here in Manatee County — and indeed in other parts of the state of Florida.”