Affordable veterinary care organization expanding

House pets are believed by many to be true members of the family. In 2024, 66% of families in the US reported having a pet, including 62% of Michiganders.

One of the biggest concerns for pet owners is finding adequate veterinary care and figuring out how to pay for it. Here in West Michigan many pet owners have turned to the Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership, or CSNIP.

“In 2001 CSNIP started operating in the community as a nonprofit tax exempt organization focused on providing more access to veterinary care for those families that don't have a veterinary clinic home or who are struggling to afford that care,” says Sharon Caldwell-Newton executive director of CSNIP.

CourtesyMany consider pets to be full members of the family.

CSNIP initially offered only spay and neuter services, and over its 23 years it has provided 250,000 such surgeries. Around 2014, clients began asking if CSNIP was able to provide more services, as they were still struggling to pay for annual vaccinations and other necessary care. In 2019, CSNIP’s mission expanded to include more access to care, and in 2021 it began offering even more wellness services.

However CSNIP is not done growing. In December of 2023 the organization purchased a 12,000 square foot facility in Walker with the intention of creating a larger headquarters and veterinary facility.

“We were looking for a location that would be geographically accessible to clients that live within our 10 county service area. The Walker location was an area we were targeting because in addition to Kent County, which is the largest base of our customers, Ottawa County and Muskegon county are the second and third largest base of our population and so Walker provided a bit more geographic accessibility. The location is close to the highways and that was a big consideration as we were looking to relocate. In the Walker location we were able to find a build that not only the right size but is in a location that meets our clientele's accessibility needs,” says Caldwell-Newton.

CourtesyIn December of 2023 CSNIP purchased a 12,000 square foot facility in Walker with the intention of creating a larger headquarters and veterinary facility.

CourtesyAn artist's rendering of the new CSNIP Walker facility.

This new facility will allow CSNIP to consolidate the three small clinics they currently operate under one roof, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. It will have 10 surgical tables, 60 dog kennels, and 90 cat kennels allowing for as many as 150 dogs and cats in the clinic on any given day for surgical or anesthetic procedures, and more capability to provide regular veterinary clinic care to those who are unable to afford their pets needs.

“Last year we served just over 23,000 pets but there are still so many more that we are unable to serve because of our space limitations,” says Caldwell-Newton. “Sometimes people have to wait six to eight weeks in order to get an appointment, especially for specialized care like dental cleaning or dental extractions. Our new facility will allow us to increase that capacity by like 40% so we are looking at serving 30,000 pets as we move into our new facility,”

This is a large project requiring a $3.6 million budget. Significant funding has been provided,  including $1 million from the Kent County Board of Commissioners, and a grant from PetSmart Charities.However, organizers are still $565,704 away from their goal. CSNIP, a nonprofit organization, is hoping for community support to finish the work. 

“We are so grateful to our donors for getting us this far. Now we’re inviting the broader community, all those cat lovers and pet families, to make a donation to our capital campaign,” says Caldwell-Newton. 

Donations can be made on the capital campaign page. The completion of the facility in early 2025 will also bring about the need for more volunteers and more maintenance. 

To learn more about CSNIP, click this link.
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