On an average weekday, staff at the Humanitarians of Florida low-cost veterinary clinic in Lecanto take care of between 75 and 100 animal clients, from shots to dental cleanings and claw clippings, checkups to elective surgeries.

Since it opened in 1980, the clinic has so far done 78,399 spays/neuters on cats and dogs — plus one rabbit and a peacock.

Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle

Most mornings, it’s not uncommon to have as many as 10 people and their pets waiting in the parking lot before the clinic even opens.

It’s a busy place and has been ever since it opened, and as a nonprofit organization, it relies on donations and fundraising events.

“Lately we’ve been getting a lot of emergencies, pets hit by cars or sick pets in general, and a lot of people do not have any money (to pay for services),” said practice manager Audie Montgomery.

Also, people often bring in injured animals and surrender them to the clinic. When that happens, they raise funds to treat them and bring them back to health, then find them good homes, Montgomery said.

In the past, the Humanitarians have had yard sales and bake sales to raise money to help these animals. Plus, they operate a thrift store, which generates income, and they work with several rescue organizations that provide funding.

“What we really want to do is establish an emergency fund to be able to help more people and their pets,” Montgomery said. “So, we came up with the idea of a fundraising ‘Yappy Hour.’”

From 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday, July 3, at Norton’s Riverside Sports Bar and Grill in Crystal River, pet lovers, or even the pet curious, are invited to the Humanitarians of Florida “Yappy Hour.”

Events include:

• Pet photos from CvB Photography by Ursula. Bring your fur baby for a professional photo session.

• Raffle baskets and T-shirts.

• Live music by Remember This Band.

• Costume contest. Dress your pet in red, white and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Winner will receive a free nail trim and ear cleaning at the clinic.

All dogs must be friendly, up to date on rabies vaccine and on a leash.

Also, staff and volunteers will be on hand with information about the clinic, educational information about your pet’s health and stories about animals they have helped.

“We have a ton of photos of animals we’ve helped, and some of the people who adopted them are going to bring them to show them off,” Montgomery said.

Yappy Hour will be at Norton’s outside covered patio. 

Food and drinks will be available for purchase from Norton’s.

Norton's Riverside Sports Bar and Grill is at 16 NE Fifth St., Crystal River, FL 34429.

For information about Humanitarians of Florida, go to their Facebook page.

Humanitarians of Florida is at 1031 N. Commerce Terrace, Lecanto. Phone: 352-563-2370.

Contact Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy at 352-564-2927 or nkennedy@chronicleonline.com. Read more of Nancy's stories at tinyurl.com/yxt69grh