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Beverly Hills

September 19, 2012

Low-cost pet vaccination clinic coming to Beverly Hills

By Robin Ruehlen
C & G Staff Writer

BEVERLY HILLS — With food, health insurance and gas prices rising, health care for the family pet is sometimes delayed or put off entirely.

But thanks to nonprofit organization Tail Waggers 1990, anyone can drop in for discount pet vaccinations and microchipping services at a low-cost vaccination clinic at Premier Pet Supply Sept. 23.

Vaccinations for rabies, distemper and bordetella are available for $12 each, or $30 for the package, and each pet is seen privately by a veterinarian, giving owners a chance to ask questions and receive follow-up information if needed.

Tail Waggers founder Laura Zain said this will be the last low-cost clinic of the season for the Beverly Hills area, which has proven to be one of the largest and most successful clinics in the area.

“We did 15 low-cost clinics across seven cities this year, and we’re already gearing up for 2013,” she said.

“The common denominator is so many people come up and thank us for coming out to this area — they tell us that people don’t think they have financial problems out here too. But truly, many are in the same situation and facing the same problems as people in other communities around them.”

The low-cost clinic is open to everyone, she added, not just those who are struggling.

“We have doctors and surgeons showing up too, because it’s very convenient. Most people are in and out in 15 minutes, and really people at any income level want to save money. Especially those who have three or more pets — they tell us we’ve saved them hundreds of dollars.”

At the June clinic, Zain recalls, one woman stopped in to drop off a $100 donation.

“We didn’t even see her pet. She said she just wanted to thank us for recognizing that the Beverly Hills and Birmingham areas have needs, too.”

Since 1990, Tail Waggers has worked to provide assistance to pet owners and funding for animals in emergency situations.

Zain praised the staff of Premier Pet Supply for creating a professional, organized environment for the clinic.

“I think when people hear ‘low-cost’ they picture a free-for-all, with a bunch of tents set up,” she said.

“They’re not expecting the mini office visit that they’ll receive at the back of the store. It’s private; questions are answered; they can have conversations with the veterinarian, get their vaccines and go.”

Although it is a walk-in clinic, Zain said it helps Tail Waggers if people RSVP.

“We’re always ready for over 200 animals, but if people can give us an idea of the head count, I can bring more vaccines so that we don’t run out.”

Many times customers come in for other supplies and wind up going home to bring their pets back for the vaccines, she said.

“We’ve had people come back with entire litters of puppies and kittens — crates at a time,” she said.

“When times are tough, everyone should pitch in, and that’s what we’re aiming to do.”

Premier Pet Supply owner Mike Palmer said Tail Waggers is a “wonderful” organization.

“They are one of the nonprofits that gets it right. Their intentions truly benefit animals in every aspect, and our customers really appreciate that the low-cost clinic is offered,” he said.

“It appeals to people of all different income levels. It’s a great thing.”

The low-cost vaccination clinic will be held 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 23 at Premier Pet Supply, 31215 Southfield Road in Beverly Hills. No appointments are necessary, but RSVPs to vaccinationclinic@yahoo.com are appreciated. For more information, visit www.tailwaggers1990.org or www.premierpetsupply.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Robin Ruehlen at rruehlen@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1105.