‘Spread thin;’ Staffing issues, increase of animals coming into shelter forces clinic to close

Staffing problems have forced the Champaign County Animal Welfare League to close its clinic, the shelter has too many animals and not enough veterinarians.

Just yesterday, the shelter took in three animals, and just a couple of weekends ago they took in 23 animals in one weekend.

With so many animals coming in, the vet who works at the shelter has to focus on the animals living there, which is why the clinic is closed as of now.

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“As you can see, the clinic is kind of quiet. We don’t have the staff to be over here and we can’t necessarily hire a receptionist and so forth if we don’t have a vet who’s going to bring in the money,” The Executive Director of CCAWL, Tiger Franks said.

The Champaign County Animal Welfare League opened in 2015.

“When we first opened the clinic we did 1,033 free trap/neuter returns. There is a big, big high demand,” Franks said.

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It’s a demand they cannot keep up with without a permanent vet, considering the fact they had 71 animals come into the center just last week.

“We’re just so far behind on everything that we have,” Franks said.

This is why Franks said the vet that takes care of the animals in the adoption center can’t also take care of the public’s animals coming into their clinic.

“She’s spread really thin. In order to keep that going, we just have to focus on what we have here,” Franks said.

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Franks said they keep their adoption fees low but refuse to skimp out on making sure their animals are healthy.

“Teeth get cleaned, lumps and bumps come off, we do everything from heartworm test to microchip to fully vaccinate,” Franks said.

Franks said not having a vet at the clinic on a regular basis and seeing a consistent amount of animals needing their help poses a problem.

The adoption center is still open, and they do still plan on holding vaccination clinics throughout the year but for now, they have to focus on the animals inside their doors.