High Volume, Low Cost, Spay and Neuter Clinics
- There are 137 licensed veterinarians in Puerto Rico which works out to approximately 1 Vet per 25,000 inhabitants. The United States average is closer to 1 Vet per 5,000 inhabitants according to the AVMA statistics. While many Vets do volunteer work, still not enough is being done to reduce the animal population. "Spay days" common in the United States are still a novelty in Puerto Rico. One year the program faltered because the local vets couldn't agree on the "discounted" price to charge. Another year, the "reduced" price suggested was $75 per spay. For low income people, that is almost the equivalent to one week's wages. The Caguas shelter routinely does spaying for $35 per animal. Unfortunately, the local Veterinary Association leadership has not been supportive of low cost programs despite a growing number of vets showing interest in participating in such volunteer programs.
- Several vets have agreed to work with the FOUNDATION to set up a high volume, low cost spay-neuter clinic in the San Juan Metro area. It is
to be followed by several more in other areas of the Island with the first
most likely the Municipal shelter in Carolina. The Guaynabo Shelter has been a
leader in low cost solutions.
- A 45' van is being prepared as a mobile clinic to be sent around the Island. The van will be fully equipped for spaying, neutering, euthanising and vaccinating animals primarily in rural communities and low income areas. It will be modelled on the Houston program. Local animal welfare groups will be responsible to schedule patients when the van is in their areas. Funding will come from fees collected, grants, Municipal subsidies and business sponsorships. Approximately 10 local vets have expressed a willingness to participate.