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Humane Society Voices Vet Support

Halifax County Humane Society volunteers voiced their support this week for a local veterinarian facing possible disciplinary action from the Virginia Department of Health Professions after a complaint registered by a Chase City resident sparked an interview with the veterinarian and an inspection of his clinic in Halifax.  Dr. William Will was summoned to an informal conference in Richmond last Wednesday to discuss the issues raised in the complaint and a subsequent unannounced inspection of his facility located on Love Shop Road, according to a notice from the Virginia Department of Health Professions.

After the story appeared in Monday’s edition, humane society officers and board members issued the following statement:

“The Halifax County Humane Society is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to caring for the homeless and stray animals of Halifax County. We work for the prevention of cruelty, relief of suffering, control of population, and finding permanent homes for what is a large number of animals in Halifax County.

“As hard as we work with these animals, and as many hours as we spend trying to raise funds to support our work, we certainly would not spend that money with a veterinarian who did not support our mission.

“The following figures, which by law are reported to the Virginia State Veterinarian’s Office each year, reflect the huge number of animals we deal with each year:
Total number of animals handled in 2005 was 483; 664 in 2006; 851 in 2007; and 954 in 2008 for a total of 2,952.

Total number of animals placed in 2005 was 345; 594 in 2006; 767 in 2007; and 875 in 2008 for a total of 2,581.

“Because Dr. Will strongly believes in spaying and neutering as the most viable remedy to control the large number of stray and homeless animals, he offers these services at a low cost, not just to the humane society, but to other rescue organizations and to the public at large who need a low-cost alternative. With the number of animals we help, we cannot afford full-price services.

“In the past we have had to transport our animals to Campbell County and other low-cost spay/neuter clinics located outside of Halifax County. We assure that all animals that are placed through the humane society are not going to continue to add to overpopulation.

“Of the 2,952 total animals we dealt with in the last four years, Dr. Will has handled almost all of them to some degree. All of the animals are at least tested for disease (heartworm, parvo, etc., in dogs, and feline leukemia etc., in cats), checked for general good health and treated if necessary, brought up-to-date on shots, and spayed or neutered if warranted.

“With these nearly 3,000 animals, the members of the humane society have never observed inappropriate care, handling, or treatment of any animal by Dr. Will. Many of these animals are coming from the worst of circumstances and conditions. Their temperaments and reactions to hands-on care are not known, yet Dr. Will handles them professionally and humanely. His knowledge and competency has never given the Halifax County Humane Society any cause for concern in dealing with anumals under our care.

“We encourage all citizens to care for their animals and others and to spay and neuter to reduce overpopulation. We are blessed with four facilities in our county which provide excellent care: Animal Medical Clinic, Elmwood Veterinary Clinic, Halifax County Veterinary Center and Loveshop Veterinary Clinic.”

The statement was issued by Humane Society President Anne Rexrode, Vice-President Coy Terry, Secretary Linda Mercer, Treasurer Cheryl Watts, and board members Faye Michaud, Cathy Carter and Lynda Colby.