"We'd like to get to the point where we're doing 35 surgeries a day," she said.
The patients Ferguson serves are the four-legged kind, and the surgeries to which she referred were spay and neuter procedures. Ferguson, a licensed veterinarian, works for the non-profit agency Stop Pet Overpopulation Today (S.P.O.T.) -- a clinic dedicated to altering cats and dogs in an attempt to control the area's pet population.
"The large majority of what we do is spay and neuter," said Shannon Crigger, registered veterinary technician. "We do offer some basic wellness services, like vaccinations and heartworm checks."
Because S.P.O.T. is not a full-service veterinary hospital, there may be a misconception that procedures will not be performed by a "real vet," Crigger said.
Prices for spay and neuter procedures at S.P.O.T. are $35 for male cats, $40 for female cats and $55 for dogs. Vaccinations are $10. All surgeries include anesthesia, intubation, pulse oximetry and pain control.
"The main reasons people don't spay and neuter are lack of accessibility and affordability," Crigger said. "By staying focused on one thing, we're able to keep our costs overhead down so we don't have to charge as much for surgery. And we're in a great location … we're in the middle of so many counties."
Ferguson said in rural counties, pet overpopulation is a major problem.
"People drop off animals when they don't want them anymore," she said.
Since the clinic opened Feb. 6, about 800 animals have been spayed or neutered at S.P.O.T. Crigger said the clinic currently averages about 15 surgeries per day. In addition to performing surgeries on owned animals, S.P.O.T. also alters animals for several local shelters and rescues.
In addition, microchipping with registration will be offered for $10. A microchip is an identifying integrated circuit containing a unique ID number placed under the skin of the animal (usually at the back of the neck between the shoulder blades).
If a pet is lost or stolen, local authorities or shelter personnel can scan the animal to see if it has a chip implanted, and if it does can call a recovery service to find out to whom the animal belongs.
S.P.O.T. is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Surgery appointments can be made by calling (765) 795-4336.