Story by Maddie Gee | Reporter, Video by Kennedy Dendy | Broadcast Reporter
All around Waco, as well as on Baylor’s campus, stray animals can be seen roaming around. For many, it is a heartbreaking sight, especially for the employees and volunteers at the Animal Birth Control Clinic of Waco.
Fort Worth senior Megan Dillman, president of Baylor’s Pre-Med Association, has been working with the clinic as a volunteer.
“Our organization does a lot of volunteer work with the Animal Birth Control Clinic, and one of our current projects is doing ‘Trap-Neuter-Return’ with the feral cats,” Dillman said.
The Trap-Neuter-Return program consists of the stray cats being trapped, spayed/neutered and then vaccinated. Their left ear is tipped to show that they have received veterinary care. This way, the clinic can do their part in stopping overpopulation and stray animals in the Waco community.
“We started testing out the program about a year ago, and we officially started the campus cat program this fall,” Dillman said. “We regularly go out and humanely trap the cats on campus and bring them to ABC to get spayed or neutered and then release them the following day to control the population.”
With an average of 45 surgeries per day, the Animal Birth Control Clinic is making an impact on the Waco animal community. One year without the surgeries the clinic provides could lead to more than 59,000 additional stray cats and dogs negatively affecting the community, rescues and shelters, according to the clinic’s Gratitude Report released this year.
While preventive services are the focus, Carrie Kuehl, clinic executive director, said the clinic provides much more than that.
“At the core is spay and neuter for dogs and cats,” Kuehl said. “We also do core vaccinations for dogs and cats, microchips, flea and tick control and heart-worm prevention.”
Dillman said she loves the collaboration between the clinic and Baylor.
“My favorite part is ABC’s willingness to work with students and do educational outreach, their flexibility, just setting up the logistics of the campus cat program. ABC is unique in that they are a medical clinic, but they are also a non-profit,” Dillman said. “I really like the combination.”
Kuehl said Baylor and the Animal Birth Control Clinic have been combining forces for around eight years.
“We love Steppin’ Out,” Kuehl said. “We love participating in that. We have done everything from helping clean up after a big construction project we had in our building to painting to flyering a neighborhood or trapping cats.”
Kuehl said working with students at Baylor has definitely made a positive impact on the clinic.
“One of my favorite ways is we are so close to the work that we do,” Kuehl said. “Fresh perspectives from a fresh generation are where some of our best ideas come from. Whether it is marketing, business process or whatever it may be, we love the fresh perspective and energy of working with the students.”
If anyone is looking to get involved with the clinic, they visit the clinic’s website.