Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Business

Love of pets keeps nonprofit business going for two decades

BROOKSVILLE — Celebrating 20 years of service in September, PetLuv, an affordable spay and neuter clinic for cats and dogs, has performed 150,000 surgeries over its two decades.

"I can't even conceive of that number," admits executive director Richard Silvani.

One sexually active dog or cat, with its own unfixed offspring giving birth in due time, can produce 6,000 of its species in a year, said practice manager Jennifer Hill. Thus, PetLuv essentially has saved between 8 million and 12 million potentially unwanted pets from euthanasia.

Preventing unwanted animals from being born "only to suffer and die," Silvani said, has been the clinic's aim since its inception. Having figured that cost is the primary deterrent to spaying and neutering, he set about making the procedures affordable.

PetLuv's rates: for cats, $25 to spay a female and $20 to neuter a male; for dogs, $35 to spay and $30 to neuter, with a rising scale based on weight.

Silvani said a full-service veterinary practice charges "at least double. Two hundred dollars wouldn't be out of the question (for cats). You can spend easily $400 to $500 to get a dog done."

"One of the things I'm most proud of," he added, "we have not raised our surgery prices over 20 years. Our goal is to keep our prices low enough to just cover expenses."

That doesn't always work out.

"We're losing money on every surgery in terms of supplies and materials," he said.

To offset some of the loss, there's a differential price scale for vaccination and testing services, under which owners of unaltered pets pay more.

From their own pockets, Silvani, 67, who retired young, and his wife, Veronika, make up the difference between financial loss and break-even.

The staff of 28, including three full-time veterinarians and five relief vets, attests to the clinic's busy schedule. They share a common trait: a love of pets, hence the clinic's name.

As if on cue, receptionist Amanda Crawford passed by Hill's office with a 3-week-old kitten she's bottle-feeding as a foster for Hernando County Animal Services.

The county previously euthanized all underage kittens, due to a lack of space and limited personnel. For the past year, PetLuv has taken 215 such kittens, caring for them through weaning, vaccinating, spaying and neutering, then returning them to Animal Services or the Humane Society of the Nature Coast for adoption.

Also fostered by friends of PetLuv, the Silvanis pay for any associated costs.

"PetLuv can't afford it," Richard Silvani said. "I can't let this organization go under financially. I'm (personally) in a position to take care of this."

The clinic is seeking foster caregivers, the only requirement being "an animal lover."

The business does not receive government funding. Donation jars sit on the reception counter.

"I'm not very good at asking people for money," Richard Silvani said. "We've been fortunate that two people have bequeathed to us. It would be nice if other people would think of nonprofit animal places when they die."

The Silvanis grew up without pets, adopting their first cat in 1982 and more wherever the Air Force assigned him. From his last assignment in Japan, the couple brought home to Brooksville their accumulated hoard of 24 cats, later adding two dogs.

"We'd rescued these guys," Richard Silvani said, "and when an animal comes into our home, we're responsible."

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

Comments
FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

TALLAHASSEE ó The parent company of Florida utility giant Florida Power & Light announced Monday that it will buy the largest electricity producer in Northwest Florida, Gulf Power, in a $6.4 billion deal.Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy Inc. said in a...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
One of Ybor Cityís most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

One of Ybor Cityís most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

TAMPA ó Developers are poised to launch construction this week on one of Ybor Cityís biggest new projects in years ó a four-story, $50 million boutique hotel being created by a Chicago company that seeks out neighborhoods rich in color and character....
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Shoppers begin Publix boycott as chain continues supporting Adam Putnam for governor

Shoppers begin Publix boycott as chain continues supporting Adam Putnam for governor

Publix has been Floridaís favorite grocery chain for decades ó but some shoppers are turning their backs on the store after learning it donated more than half a million dollars to gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam. A handful of state advocacy group...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

At least one gas price tracker expects rising fuel prices to sharply curtail summer travel. "For all those that have said summer travel will be unaffected by high gas prices, we offer thousands of respondents who have strongly indicated thatís not tr...
Published: 05/21/18
Barack and Michelle Obama are becoming television and film producers for Netflix

Barack and Michelle Obama are becoming television and film producers for Netflix

Netflix announced a production deal Monday with Barack and Michelle Obama that will see the former first couple create a wide range of content for the streaming service.The deal, talks for which had first been reported in March, will encompass a wide...
Published: 05/21/18
Starbucks: You donít have to buy coffee to sit in our cafes or use our restrooms

Starbucks: You donít have to buy coffee to sit in our cafes or use our restrooms

Starbucks is now allowing people to use its restrooms and sit in its cafes and patios even if they do not buy anything.The coffee giant on Saturday announced its new policy, which says that customers, including those who did not make a purchase, can ...
Published: 05/21/18

Hernando Business Digest for May 25

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL UPGRADES SURGICAL SYSTEM: Oak Hill Hospital recently acquired the latest da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which has broader capabilities than prior generations of the system. The new system is designed with the goal of furt...
Published: 05/21/18
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. Whatís more telling is what I didnít do.I didnít hose down a muddy tent, I didnít soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA ó Like his father, who founded the Crabby Billís seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/21/18