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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeCommunityVisiting Vets Return to Spay/Neuter St. Croix Pets

Visiting Vets Return to Spay/Neuter St. Croix Pets

Last year, 80 cats and dogs were neutered each day, free for almost a week, by a team from Visiting Veterinarians International (VVI). Along with the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center (SCAWC) staff, they also vaccinated, chipped, and tested the 236 owned and feral pets for heartworm during the four days.

Dr. Adrian Holly and Wayne Myers carry a dog, ready for surgery, into the operating arena. (Photo courtesy of St. Croix Animal Welfare Center)

This year, the free clinic will be held Jan. 9-12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the goal of treating 80 animals a day, according to Becca Hughson, marketing and public relations for SCAWC. The operations will take place at their new property at 155 Estate Castle Coakley. Pet owners can make a reservation ahead of time (340-718-1650) or simply drop by with their cat or dog. They will save at least $120 by using the free service.

Last year, the rooms of the Great House were used for sterile surgery and the outside porch and grounds at Castle Coakley were filled with drowsy or recuperating pets in pens, their owners waiting anxiously to take their pets home. The entire process took about an hour.

This year, feral animals also qualify for the program. People can get a trap from the AWC at Five Corners and the un-homed will have their ears clipped to identify them in the wild as “fixed” and “immunized.” They will also be neutered, tested and vaccinated.

“It’s for anyone that doesn’t have access to veterinary care, or they are street dogs,” Dr. Jennifer Betz, president and founder of Visiting Veterinarians International, told the Source during last year’s event.

The members of VVI are volunteers who pay their own way to the locations where they work to provide care to parts of the world after a disaster or where services are limited. Their work helps control stray animals and diseases and educate owners on care and animal medical needs.

In addition to St. Croix, the non-profit organization has worked its magic in the Marshall Islands, Belize, Cambodia, and Fiji, treating more than 1,600 animals in need.

Volunteers are needed to help the 16 visiting veterinarians and AWC staff with the project. AWC is looking for adults and youth over the age of 18 who are comfortable around animals, especially those with a medical background. To volunteer, send an email to development@stcroixawc.org.

“The community is invited to spay and neuter their pets during this spay/neuter extravaganza. Please help us control the pet overpopulation crisis on our island,” Hughson said.

And please don’t feed pets on the day of surgery, she advised.

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