Dr. Christine Asaro, DVM, The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) Medial Director, recently returned from Puerto Rico where she joined ViDAS during the non-profit organization’s current mission, The Spayathon for Puerto Rico.
The Spayathon for Puerto Rico, an island-wide spay and neuter campaign spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States, has brought together 26 organizations. Through the group’s collective efforts, they are hoping to safely spay and neuter over 30,000 dogs and cats during four free, high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter clinics that will take place between June 2018 and May 2019.
Dr. Asaro took part in the February volunteer spay/neuter clinic, which boasted a team of 50 people, including 20 surgeons. Throughout her six-day trip, 3,406 animals were safely spayed/neutered and vaccinated.
Dr. Asaro said The Spayathon “experience was truly rewarding.”
For over a decade ARF has been traveling to Puerto Rico to lend a helping hand. Shortly after Hurricane Maria, in the fall of 2017, ARF volunteers made their way down to Puerto Rico where they took part in a duo of rescue missions that led to more than 200 animals being transported to Long Island to the ARF Adoption Center in Wainscott.
Pet overpopulation has become an increasing problem in Puerto Rico since the devastating storm. As the homeless pet population expands, as does the risk of rabies as these animals do not receive access to necessary medical care or vaccines. Overall, at the moment, The Spayathon campaign has impacted the lives of 17,000 animals.
ViDAS (Veterinarios Internacionales Dedicados a Animales Sanos – International Veterinarians Dedicated to Animal Health) was founded in 2002. The organization assists with putting together teams of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and animal-loving volunteers who journey globally to areas in need of help. While on the ground, the teams offer complimentary spay and neuter services for dogs and cats, which addresses pet overpopulation. They also work to educate the local community and assist local veterinary groups.