First-ever 'Spayathon' Kicks Off in Puerto Rico

In response to pet overpopulation throughout Puerto Rico, a coalition of 23 animal welfare organizations is working to make a change for pets and their owners on the island.
Kerry Lengyel
Published: June 06, 2018
There are an estimated 300,000 dogs and 1 million cats roaming the streets and beaches of Puerto Rico, either homeless or abandoned. What’s more, the majority of animals brought to shelters throughout the island are euthanized due to overpopulation and illness.

To help with pet overpopulation on the island, a coalition of animal welfare organizations has come together to change these statistics.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) along with 22 other organizations has launched a “Spayathon” for Puerto Rico, with the goal of spaying and neutering at least 20,000 cats and dogs by May 2019.

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“This is the first time such a broad coalition of organizations has come together to not only to intensively reduce the population of animals across an island, but also provide the resources and support necessary to continue that work long-term,” Tara Loller, senior director of strategic campaigns and initiative for HSUS, said.

The spays/neuters will be conducted at no cost to pet owners on the following dates:
  • Round 1: June 3-9 — Ceiba, Culebra, Manati, Moca, Ponce, San Juan and Vieques
  • Round 2: November 3-9 — Cabo Rojo, Ceiba, Culebra, Manati, Moca, Ponce, San Juan and Vieques
  • Round 3: February 3-9 — Cabo Rojo, Ceiba, Culebra, Manati, Moca, Ponce, San Juan and Vieques
  • Round 4: May 3-9 — Cabo Rojo, Ceiba, Culebra, Manati, Moca, Ponce and Vieques

In addition to the no-cost spay/neuter clinic dates for pet owners, dozens of veterinary professionals in the area will receive high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter training through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Spay/Neuter Alliance.

At the conclusion of the initiative, all remaining equipment and supplies will be donated to local veterinarians and animal shelters. The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine will also analyze the outcome of the coalition’s efforts, hoping to better understand the roots of pet overpopulation in Puerto Rico.

Groups included in the coalition have offered their services and time in the following ways:
“We could not make this historic event happen without the generous participation of each and every coalition member,” Loller said.

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