The local animal welfare society recently completed the renovation of a room in its new building, converting it into an operating room where animals to be spayed and neutered.

The Adoption Center, a project of the Ottawa County Animal Welfare Society,  is located at 501 East Central in Miami.

“The first day I became associated with the Animal Welfare Society, I realized that taking dogs and cats to the veterinarian would not be hard if there were only one or two of them,” said Jean Eslick, president of the society. “But, this week, I’m taking 19 animals.”

It took her almost two hours to get the animals loaded and bedded down in her pickup for the trip to the vet. She had to wait for the animals to have their surgery and to come out of the anesthesia, before loading them up and bringing them back to fresh beds at the center.

“It’s almost an overwhelming task,” Eslick said.

The surgery is performed by Mindy Mayfield, doctor of veterinary medicine, in Columbus, Kan.

Before opening her own practice, she worked with the late Dr. Charles Watterson who practiced in Miami.

“In addition to ours, she works with two other rescue shelters,” Eslick said. “Her mission is to give back to the community.

“She realizes that not everyone can afford to pay full price for spaying and neutering.”

Tentative plans are for Mayfield to visit the center once a week and perform the surgery on the animals up for adoption as well as for a discounted rate on cats and dogs belonging to people with certain household income restrictions.

People who believe they meet the requirements and are interested in having the surgery done on their pets, should call the center at 542-2129 and leave a message.

Eslick expressed gratitude to Arvest Bank for a donation that helped finance the implementaion of the surgery room at the center.