SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's Offers Shot Clinic in Forestville

By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 8, 2009

In the middle of a line of about 100, Jasmine, 4, stood quietly in the sun yesterday as she waited her turn to be vaccinated at a clinic in Forestville.

Most of the others waiting for their shots were similarly calm, although a few barked at one another, and one -- a golden retriever -- made a break for the street. A clinic volunteer sprinted to the gate to shut it, and the dog's owner stopped him before he escaped.

Jasmine, a German shepherd-Rottweiler mix, was among the scores of dogs and handful of cats at the vaccinations clinic run by the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's County. Some owners had their pets embedded with microchips to help identify them if they become lost.

The services were provided by veterinarian Shawnne Spencer and two volunteer veterinary technicians at prices that are much lower than what most private vets would charge, said Tamela Terry, president of the Prince George's SPCA. At the clinic, rabies shots cost $8, distemper vaccinations were $12 and a microchip cost $25. The clinic offered pet license renewals for $5.

Spencer also conducted a quick evaluation of the overall health of the dogs and cats he saw, clinic volunteers said.

The services are offered at the clinic the first Sunday of every month, except when the Washington Redskins play a home game. On those weekends, they are held the first Saturday because of traffic congestion, said Faith Weiner, an SPCA volunteer.

Azalia Speight of Hyattsville and husband, Joseph, brought their Labrador-pit bull mix for rabies and distemper vaccinations and a license renewal; they also purchased medication.

Azalia Speight estimated that the visit would have cost $250 at a veterinarian's office, including the charge for an appointment. "This was worth the drive," she said.

Juan Salazar, 34, of Silver Spring agreed. Salazar and his wife, Anna Torres, 29, brought Lally, a 2-month-old terrier, for a distemper shot.

"This is excellent," Salazar, a Salvadoran immigrant, said in Spanish. "They're very professional. It's affordable and accessible."

For more information, visit http://www.pgspca.org.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company