Clinic cares for animals at low cost

By Jacey Birch - Anchor/Animal Advocate

MIAMI - The Animal Welfare Society in Miami is the only nonprofit, low-cost animal clinic in South Florida.   

For the past 40 years, it has relied solely on private donations from benefactors and supporters in the community. The charity was founded in 1972 by four philanthropists who wanted to save the lives of animals right in their neighborhood. 

Dr. Gonzalo Pou stays busy seeing about 40 pet patients every single day and up to 300 a week. 

But it is the prices that make this vet clinic different from any other. 

"Our costs are typically 50 to 60 percent less than any other private clinic, and if for some reason they have trouble, we do provide the means to help them out," Pou said. 

The assistants check on the animals being treated Friday. A white bull dog had a swollen paw from the scrappy fight he got in with a possum. A tabby cat got an IV after being stuck in a hot car as doctors worked to bring her temperature down, and two baby lovebirds were fed by hand. 

From simple vaccines to complicated surgeries, the Animal Welfare Society is nicknamed the Jackson Memorial Hospital of cats and dogs. 

For example, an office visit is less than $25, an emergency is less than $50, complete bloodwork is $64 and X-rays are $90.  Surgeries run 70 percent less than the prices estimated at most animal clinics. 

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