Santa Rosa County Animal Services held a ribbon cutting today, Mon., Sept. 13 to celebrate the opening of their new surgical suite. Before this new area was built, the shelter utilized a small space to perform surgeries such as spaying and neutering."We began spaying and neutering in-house in 2020 with the help of a $40,000 grant from Best Friends Animal Society that allowed us to purchase much needed equipment," said Dora Thomason, shelter director. "With this new, larger, surgery suite, we can provide even more life-saving surgeries and quality care at the shelter."Over the last year, the shelter has been able to perform over 2,090 spay/neuter surgeries, 17 amputations, 7 enucleations (removal) of the eye and 96 other special medical procedures, 28 of which were performed while the animal was being spayed or neutered. This has drastically increased the save-rate at the animal shelter and has helped provide a better quality of life for many of the animals that come through the shelter doors."We have already provided thousands of live-saving surgeries with many success stories from pets who are living their best life in their forever homes after having a leg amputation or eye removal," said Dr. Megan Arevalo, veterinarian. "But the biggest success story is the spay and neuter procedures we perform almost daily. Spaying and neutering your pets is the number one way to prevent preventable deaths in healthy animals while also working towards lowering overpopulation in your community."Having this new surgery suite will allow the in-house veterinarian staff to be more efficient and provide more effective diagnostics when coming up with treatment plans. Staff is also actively working to create a cat recovery room and to acquire an x-ray machine to keep animals from being transported out of the shelter for this diagnostic testing.To help the shelter achieve their goals of acquiring an x-ray machine and creating a cat recover room, consider making a donation to the shelter online. To find out more about Santa Rosa County Animal Services and to see animals available for adoption, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/animals.