MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — The Fruitport clinic known for providing low-cost spay and neuter services to pet owners in West Michigan closed abruptly on Oct. 1.

The West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic's board made the announcement in a Facebook post. A copy of the announcement was also posted on the clinic's door at the facility at 6130 Airline Road.

The post calls the decision to suspend operations "a gut-wrenching and financially necessary decision made in the wake increasing expenses and a business model that no longer works."

The message goes on to say the clinic is looking for a sustainable path going forward.

The nonprofit was formed to serve the greater Muskegon community with low-cost spay and neutering services. The 501(c)-3 operates on grants, fundraising efforts and donations.

The clinic's message both online and on the clinic's locked door apologizes for any inconveniences the decision caused clients and recommends C-Snip in Grand Rapids and the Harbor Humane Society as alternative locations for getting animals spayed or neutered. 

"[We] started getting extra phone calls and extra Facebook messages yesterday," said Jen Self-Aulgur, Harbor Humane Society Executive Director.

The Harbor Humane Society is ready to take on additional clients from Muskegon County. 

"We will be able to help fill a void but there will still be a void," Self-Aulgur said.

In recent years the Harbor Humane Society started providing spay and neuter services for low-income members of the public. 

"We always encourage people to have a relationship with your vet, to use your veterinarian, but we understand that sometimes those costs just are not affordable for some people and we want to see people spay and nurturing their animals and vaccinating their animals," Self-Aulgur said.

Since its founding nearly a decade ago, the West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic performed more than 29,000 spay and neuter surgeries.

The clinic's board and staff thanked community members who supported that work and pledge to share with the community what the future looks like "as soon as we know."

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