by Kellie Heckman
This week FiXiT Foundation opens our spay/neuter clinic in St. Croix –a collaborative effort called St. Croix Animal Welfare Network with the animal shelter and veterinarians on the island. This marks a major milestone for our organization, the community of St. Croix, and, of course, me personally.
Working in a spay/neuter clinic has been a life long dream. I started college as a pre-vet student with dreams of joining Veterinarians Without Borders to provide vet services, especially spay/neuter, all over the world. Unfortunately, that dream was quickly dashed when I became nauseous and nearly fainted at the sight of blood during my first surgery observation – an older Labrador getting a hysterectomy (older dogs tend to bleed more than younger ones).
Plan B was to become an evolutionary biologist, which still took me around the world, but those early dreams continued to pop up every once and a while. A year and a half ago that dream became a mission and FiXiT Foundation was formed. Stephanie and I have since laid the groundwork with market research and a long-term incentive-based strategy, but this week’s clinic launch is our first real step to ending overpopulation here on St. Croix and I couldn’t be more excited.
What’s more exciting is that this corresponds nicely with the 17th annual Spay Day on Tuesday, February 22. This is a day in which events are taking place all over the world to promote spay and neuter programs working to end overpopulation and needless euthanasia of cats and dogs. For all of you that are not here in the Virgin Islands (sorry!), you can still participate in Spay Day in your area.