This summer, eight veterinarians from twenty-three organizations around the world united for one week with one sole purpose —to help the people and animals of Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the most destructive storm on record in Puerto Rico, Dr. Zenaida Agriat-Rodriguez, veterinarian for Brevard Humane Society, joined ViDAS (Veterinarios Internacionales Dedicados a Animales Sanos) for a spay/neuter clinic in the territory’s second largest city, Ponce.
The initiative, known as “Spay-A-Thon” for Puerto Rico, aims to provide high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter services to 20,000 animals in underserved communities across the Commonwealth by May 2019. With the support of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and First Lady Beatriz Rosselló, the Brevard Humane Society was the only local animal welfare organization to participate in this historic endeavor.
“This groundbreaking initiative is a remarkable example of what can happen when government agencies, non-profits and veterinary professionals work together for a common goal,” said Theresa Clifton, Executive Director of the Brevard Humane Society. “We couldn’t be happier to help a community that was ravaged by a devastating hurricane which left thousands of animals homeless. This collaboration will undoubtedly make a real difference and impact on the welfare of Puerto Rico’s pets.”
Unfortunately, numerous challenges still remain in Puerto Rico. Currently, there are an estimated 300,000 dogs and 1 million cats, left either homeless or abandoned, roaming the streets and beaches of Puerto Rico. Worse yet, veterinary resources are insufficient, with only one veterinarian available per every 15,000 people. Leaving a large percentage of these animals to be euthanized either due to the lack of space in burgeoning shelters and/or due to the presence of rabies.
Fortunately, the Brevard Humane Society is pleased to announce that it is now also assisting with the rescue efforts of homeless animals arriving from Puerto Rico. Animals are expected to arrive from hurricane-stricken areas in the coming days/weeks, which will be the second group of animals from Puerto Rico to find refuge at the Brevard Humane Society. These pets will be vaccinated, spayed and neutered, and eligible for adoption. Photos of the animals will be made available on the Brevard Humane Society’s website and their Facebook page. For more information, regarding these transports or to contribute to their care, please call the Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.brevardhumanesociety.org .