After serving five years on the Humane Society's board of directors, Cary Bernstein knew there was a lot of work to be done in Charlotte, where thousands of animals are euthanized each year. Then she visited Richmond, Va., known for its "no-harm, no-kill" animal policy.
"I knew it was possible," Bernstein said. "I also knew we didn't do enough spay/neuter in Charlotte."
Bernstein, a nonprofit fundraising consultant, turned her energy to reducing Charlotte's animal euthanasia rate.
She met with the executive director of the Humane Alliance in Asheville, a group that runs low-cost spay/neuter clinics, who agreed Charlotte would be a good place to set up a program. Bernstein then wrote a business plan and leased space on North Davidson Street.
Spay Neuter Charlotte opened in early August with an $80,000 grant from PetSmart Charities. The nonprofit clinic offers spay and neuter surgery for $50 for cats and $99 for dogs.
Convenience is key; the clinic is pioneering an online appointment system, and owners drop off pets early, picking them up in the afternoon. Bernstein said she hopes to implement a program where animals can be picked up and dropped off around Charlotte.