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      K9 Clinic to benefit area dogs

      HOGS4DOGS USA's first-ever K9 clinic will benefit the health of local dogs.

      HOGS4DOGS USA is known for their big motorcycle ride each September, but they also sponsor and promote fundraisers and events throughout the year.

      The group's mission is to improve the health and well-being of all area dogs, and a big component of that is providing accessible vaccinations and other treatment. HOGS4DOGS is hosting its first-ever K9 Clinic on Saturday, February 2nd to do just that -- provide accessible, affordable care for dogs and their owners who might otherwise not be able to afford it.

      "This one came about, the K-9 clinic, just from a conversation I had with a friend," said Tammie Hartley, one of the founders of HOGS4DOGS USA. "She attends another clinic in another area and said there is such a need in this area and nobody is fulfilling it, so we contacted one of our vets in the area and she was totally on board with it and it grew from there."

      The clinic will offer vaccinations for $15, micro-chipping for $25, a package deal with both vaccinations and a micro-chip for $50 and 2013 dog licenses for $7. Hartley said all of the above are important in caring for your dog and making sure they are safe and healthy.

      "We believe that if you take on the responsibility of being a pet owner, it's really no different than being a parent, because you have to provide for that pet, just like you do a young child," Hartley said. "So it's your responsibility to take care of that animal. Vaccinations are important, just like they are to children. And they micro-chip is an easy fix to a lost pet."

      The clinic will also host a few fun vendors, like Lee's Photography for pictures, Paws-A-Tively Canine Creations for paw and hair trimmings, a business out of Cedar Rapids that provides custom-made urns, along with many more. If the event goes well, Hartley said they hope to hold more in the future, maybe even one for cats.

      The clinic will be held on Saturday, February 2 from 1-4 p.m. at the Ottumwa Elks Lodge. Dogs must be brought on a leash and only cash is accepted.

      For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.