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Nonprofit animal advocacy group A HOPE Inc. was founded in 2017 with a mission to tackle the highest euthanasia rate recorded in their area. It started when a few caring individuals decided they had to do something to stop the suffering. The group’s name stands for Animal, Health, Outreach, Prevention, and Education. Today, they have plans for a new low-cost spay and neuter clinic that will change everything for the area.

Brandi Winkleman, president of HOPE via Pensacola News Journal/ Gregg Pachkowski

Images: Brandi Winkleman, president of HOPE via Pensacola News Journal/ Gregg Pachkowski and Facebook/A HOPE

In 2018, they found a new home in Milton, FL after working out of a minivan and volunteers homes. But they still had the challenge of transportibg animals to a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in other counties. And one of the closest clinics in Panama City is over 100 miles away! But now, there’s great news because they are finally reaching a long-standing goal to build a low-cost spay-neuter facility in Milton.

cats being taken to spay neuter clinics

Cats ready to travel for out-of-town treatment via Facebook/A HOPE

A HOPE for Cats, Dogs, and Other Pets in Florida

This new clinic is huge news for the Panhandle area. Soon, the community can finally access solutions that will help so many families, cats, and dogs.

“Right now, we can only transport every other week to get animals — dogs and cats — spayed and neutered. And this (facility) will allow us to provide those services almost every day of the week,” said A HOPE Vice President Paige Cary.

Kitties saved by A HOPE

Until now, people in the area sometimes needed to travel all the way to Alabama or Mississippi to spay or neuter their pets! More families and pets can now remain together with affordable care available. Plus, far fewer furbabies will suffer and need saving and expensive veterinary care.

“One of the greatest hurdles to community pet care is the expense of spay/neuter surgeries,” HOPE’s newsletter states. “With an affordable clinic, we can help cats and dogs by reducing the price to double digits. Reducing these costs keeps people and pets together…where they belong!”

A HOPE black rescued kitten

Recently rescued cutie

Not to mention, having a local clinic provides local revenue and jobs, including a dedicated veterinarian. Overall, the quality of life for the whole community goes up.

Land for the low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Florida Panhandle

It All Starts with a Dream

What started as a dream eventually led to a 25-acre plot that currently looks like the picture above. Then the rescue found a contractor with plans to build “a metal building with an expandable back wall to allow for growth,” they shared on Facebook. 

A HOPE new clinic plans

If all goes to plan, the facility could be open by 2023. Donations are welcome on HOPE’s website.

A HOPE spay and neuter clinic plans

More good news: In a recent Facebook post, A HOPE says they have received a sizeable grant to assist with spaying and neutering 766 cats in Santa Rosa County. More information on their page.

Saving 84 Cats and 83 Dogs 

Even without a local clinic, HOPE saved over 100 animals in July 2022 alone. They also transported 110 cats and 10 dogs to get fixed and vaccinated.

And back in December 2021, the rescuers worked to TNR (trap, neuter, return) an entire colony of 84 cats. It was the second-largest mass trapping of stray cats in two years, called Project Hallelujah. Around the same time, they saved 83 dogs from “horrific conditions.” 

cats looking at rescuers in Florida

The cats were also vaccinated against rabies, treated for fleas, and dewormed.

The rescuers drove the cats over 100 miles to Operation Spay Bay in Panama City! Afterward they thankfully found homes for many of the cats. Others were released to their chosen outdoor homes with someone to feed and keep an eye on them. Once released, they can never again have kittens that would struggle and suffer.

Brandi Winkleman cares for kitties in kennel

For more, you can follow A HOPE on InstagramFacebook, and TikTok.

More about Project Hallelujah via TikTok.

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