The staff of the St. Augustine Humane Society united last month to tackle one of the biggest problems for animal health on the First Coast: population control.
Staff participated in the 23rd Annual World Spay Day, a campaign of The Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSUS). On the last Tuesday of every February, the local Humane Society participates in World Spay Day to communicate the benefits of affordable, accessible spay and neuter services available to save the lives of companion animals, and feral and stray cats in St. Johns County.
“Every day in the United States, thousands more puppies and kittens are born than human babies,” said Carolyn Smith, St. Augustine Humane Society’s Executive Director. “That means there will never be enough homes for all the dogs and cats born each year until more people realize the importance of spaying and neutering.”
An estimated 2.4 million healthy and treatable cats and dogs are put down in U.S. shelters each year, according to the HSUS — which puts the toll at one pet euthanized every 13 seconds.
Last year, the clinic earned formal certification from the Humane Alliance as a National Spay/Neuter Response Team (NSNRT) and is the only certified Humane Alliance clinic in St. Johns County among 145 nationwide.
Smith added that all pet owners who brought their pets to the clinic on World Spay Day this year received a gift bag of pet treats and gift certificates for products, including flea preventatives available at the facility’s wellness clinic. Also, one pet owner received a $100 gift certificate as a door prize, courtesy of Columbia Restaurant’s Community Harvest.
Donna Chambers, a volunteer with the Spay Neuter Kingston Initiative in Kingston, Ontario, Canada was a special guest who attended World Spay Day at the St. Augustine non-profit.
Chambers studied the facility’s specialization as a certified High Volume High Quality Spay Neuter center (HVHQSN). She met with Smith and Lauren Rockey, DVM, the staff veterinarian who oversees a team of highly-trained technicians and team members who perform approximately 30 to 40 spay and neuter surgeries per day along with preventative care for client-owned dogs and cats.
The spay and neuter clinic is open every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the wellness clinic is open every Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
St. Augustine Humane Society promotes healthy responsible lifelong pet ownership by serving the medical and rehabilitative needs of companion animals in the local community, according to their website. The nonprofit’s programs are designed to strengthen human-pet relationships by reducing the need for pets to enter shelters. The goal is to encourage the humane treatment of animals, avoid overpopulation, and prevent animal cruelty. The Humane Society’s resource center includes a wellness and preventative care clinic, affordable spay and neuter efforts, grooming facility and a pet food pantry.
The St. Augustine Humane Society is located at 1665 Old Moultrie Rd. For more information, visit www.staugustinehumanesociety.org.