This past May, ISF completed their second free spay and neuter clinic at a facility located on a Navajo Reservation in Pine Hill, New Mexico. ISF provided funding for all the medical costs associated with the clinic, along with recruiting another veterinarian team in addition to our own team. With two full veterinarian teams over two days, the clinic was able to spay and neuter 116 animals as well as provide vaccines, health care, and preventative medicine to these patients. RezDawg Rescue was the organizing group and have worked with the Pine Hill community in the past. The Colorado Animal Welfare League (CAWL) provided a mobile spay/neuter unit which came with surgical equipment and space for the ISF team. One of CAWL’s team members helped with surgeries in the unit—a clinic this size couldn’t have happened without CAWL’s equipment and help.
After the success of our previous no-cost clinic, we were eager to do another. ISF stands behind finding unwanted animals a loving home through rescuing and adopting but we know, just like everyone else in this effort, that it’s an endless battle. We know the best way to “fixing” the problem is exactly that…“fixing” animals. Our mission supports birth control and sterilization efforts which range from no-cost spay/neuter clinics for domestic animals to wild horse herds. But with an endless number of regions needing these services, there are many areas to choose from when deciding the location of these clinics. Urban areas have a large demand for these services, and there are resources there, but what about the very rural areas?
Originally, one of ISF's volunteer veterinarian technicians made us aware of the large stray animal problem, lack of veterinarian resources, and lower income areas found in some Indian reservations of the southwest. After digging deeper into the issue, this problem became our next area of focus. To see where we can make the largest impact, we look to collaborate with other similar groups. After speaking to RezDawg, we knew this was a group who would do just that and make an impact.
RezDawg Rescue focuses on one area at a time until its pet populations are manageable before branching out into another area. This organization takes unwanted pets, find ways to offer low/no cost spay/neuter clinics, offers free food, vaccines, preventative medicines, leashes, collars, and even shelters to help both the pets and the community, making it high impact and comprehensive in its goal! ISF sponsored RezDawg’s clinic and lent our ISF veterinarian team for the clinic. In the end the collaboration with RezDawg Rescue and CAWL was even better than we imagined! In addition to 116 animals being treated, the clinic provided a place for unwanted animals to be safely surrendered into foster homes with the rescues involved—this included 17 dogs, 6 cats, and 4 stray dogs that were trapped. And better yet, results from these repeated clinics are already being noticed in the community.
The ISF veterinarian team was composed of volunteer veterinarian, Christine Parker; Creatures Division Manager, Kate Harms; volunteer veterinarian technician and Animal Grants team member, Vanessa Savage; and Grants Manager, Veronica Hampton. A special thanks goes out to those team members for their work, our partnering organizations, and the supporters of ISF for making this happen.
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Written by: Kate H.
Photo Credit: Steven Sable and Kate Harms