LAWRENCEVILLE - Dennis Kronenfeld has been rescuing animals for the past 15 years and now he's putting his efforts toward a new cause.
Kronenfeld, president of the Society of Human Friends of Georgia, officially opened the society's discount spay and neuter clinic in Lawrenceville Friday, kicking off the day with a cookout hosted by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department.
The Sheriff's Department, Kronenfeld said, has been helping SOHF raise money for the clinic for the past few years. He said Sheriff's Department employees held a barbecue in October and more than $15,000 was collected.
"That money helped us purchase the equipment and materials we needed to get started," Kronenfeld said. "It takes a lot of money to run a clinic like this, but I do it because it's important to me. I think I get more out of it than the animals do."
Stacey Bourbonnais, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman, said more than $700 was raised at the Friday fundraiser.
"We had a cookout for them a few months ago," Bourbonnais said. "Today we wanted to give them a boost to help with further costs of the clinic."
Sheriff Butch Conway said he was pleased with Friday's turnout.
"We had a pretty good group of people and we hope to raise a good bit of money for them," Conway said. "All the money from today's sales go directly to them."
Christine Miller, an animal rescuer in Lilburn, attended the cookout and opening Friday and said she was happy to support the new clinic.
"Oh sure, it is so important to have a clinic like this," Miller said. "Especially with the number of stray animals we have."
Kronenfeld said a number of appointments have already been made and the spay and neuter surgeries also began Friday. He said the clinic was opened in response to the large numbers of abandoned cats and dogs in the county that have to be euthanized due to uncontrolled births.
"We constantly have to remind people they need to spay and neuter their pets," Kronenfeld said. "So we decided to open a clinic where people can come and have their pets fixed at a discounted price."
The clinic, located at 150 Honest Alley in downtown Lawrenceville, will initially be open for the spaying and neutering on Fridays. Kronenfeld said the procedure costs $55 for dogs and $35 for cats.
Kronenfeld said pet owners can call 770-962-4301 to make an appointment. He said shots and vaccinations will also be offered.