by Kellie Heckman
FiXiT Foundation’s low cost spay/neuter clinic has been officially up and running for a week! Hooray!! It has been exciting to say the least. Lots of learning experiences: wrangling clients, rallying volunteers, minimizing the paper trail, and streamlining the whole process. While there are more lessons to be learned, it has been a great week. I have already met a wide variety of people who offered differing answers when asked why they had not yet spayed or neutered. Interestingly, however, they all responded the same when asked why they were participating in our program: “Prevent unwanted puppies/kittens”.
I am beginning to really enjoy the spays, all of which I participate in. So far we have spayed 3 cats and 2 dogs and, truly, you never know what you’ll find when you open up a female here on St. Croix! Of the 5 females, 3 have been pregnant. Phew-close call!! In only one case was the pregnancy obvious enough for the owners to be aware. Of the remaining 2 females, one had just weaned, because she still had milk in her mammary tissues. We have some serious reproduction going on here.
While I am thinking about the first week of the clinic in a reflective way, I should emphasize that this is a collaborative effort between the island’s private veterinarians, animal shelter, volunteers, and us: St. Croix Animal Welfare Network. We are so grateful to have such a warm animal community on St. Croix to help us with this project. A special shout out to Dr. Laura Bailey, our volunteer vet, and Dr. Paul Hess, owner and senior vet at Island Animal Clinic, where surgeries are taking place. Thank you to all of you for making this possible!!