As the Humane Society of the United States and coalition partners return to Puerto Rico this week, the HSUS is proud to announce that Spayathon for Puerto Rico has been selected to join the Clinton Global Initiative’s “Commitment to Action”, which recognizes efforts to address significant global challenges that are innovative, specific and measurable. Spayathon for Puerto Rico is a high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter initiative to alter and vaccinate more than 25,000 dogs and cats in underserved communities across the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, many residents were forced to leave their pets behind as they struggled for survival. Those animals were taken into overburdened shelters or absorbed into Puerto Rico’s stray population, which had already reached crisis levels. In response, the Humane Society of the United States spearheaded the creation of Spayathon for Puerto Rico, a coalition of 26 organizations aimed at helping to stabilize the island’s pet population and provide the Puerto Rican veterinary community the tools needed to make lasting, positive change. In June, during Round One of this initiative, more than 5,500 dog and cats were vaccinated, spayed or neutered and provided pet supplies. Round Two will take place November 3-9.

Spayathon for Puerto Rico has three primary goals:

1. Spay/neuter/vaccinate more than 25,000 cats and dogs within one year. Each animal treated will also receive rabies, leptospirosis and other essential vaccinations at no cost to pet owners.

2. Increase the capacity of the existing veterinary workforce in Puerto Rico by providing high quality, high volume spay/neuter  surgical specialty training to existing local Puerto Rico veterinarians and their teams.

3. Ensure the local veterinary community is able to serve the pet population for years to come by leaving all Spayathon surgical equipment and supplies behind to equip the island’s first permanent HQHVSN clinics.

“More than a year has passed since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. We are proud to continue to make a difference in the lives of Puerto Rico animals and the people who love them though Spayathon,” said Tara Loller, senior director of Strategic Campaigns and Initiatives for the Humane Society of the United States. “This collaboration between government agencies, nonprofits and veterinary medical professionals is unprecedented, and the HSUS is honored that Spayathon earned Clinton Global Initiative’s recognition.” 

This work was made possible by the generous support of our coalition partners: Maddie’s Fund®, GreaterGood.org, Rescue Bank, Petco Foundation, PetSmart Charities, Banfield Foundation, The 20/22 Act Society, Best Friends Animal Society, The Government of Puerto Rico, Junta Examinadora de Medicos Veterinarios de Puerto Rico, Colegio de Médicos Veterinarios de Puerto Rico, ViDAS, Emancipet, Helping Paws Across Borders, Veterinarians for Puerto Rico, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University, Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at The University of Florida, The Puerto Rico Dog Fund, The Humane Society of Puerto Rico, The Sato Project, Coalition for Animal Rescue, Friends of Culebra Animals, Wild at Heart Foundation Our Big Fat Caribbean Rescue, Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asís.

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