Spayathon for Puerto Rico

More than 25 organizations came together to serve tens of thousands of animals and provide training and infrastructure for lasting change.

In the spring of 2018, with the support of over 25 organizations, the HSUS launched Spayathon for Puerto Rico, a multi-year effort to spay and neuter 25,000 cats and dogs on the island. A response to Hurricane Maria and other devastating disasters, Spayathon brought much-needed veterinary care and pet supplies to tens of thousands of animals, all at no cost to their families.

While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our ability to return for our final rounds of high-volume spay/neuter clinics, we pivoted to providing vouchers for pet parents to get their animals altered. Almost 60,000 cats and dogs—more than double our original goal—have received much-needed veterinary care, vaccinations and spay/neuter services. This great work would not have been possible without the dedication of our staff, partners, funders, local ground teams and pet owners in Puerto Rico.

We thank everyone involved every step of the way.

A cat being treated by vets and techs at Spayathon for Puerto Rico
A cat being treated by vets and techs at Spayathon for Puerto Rico.
Jennifer Evans
Illume Communications
Vets and techs working with animals at Spayathon for Puerto Rico
Vets and techs working with animals at Spayathon for Puerto Rico.
James Evans
Illume Communications

Spayathon had an immediate positive impact by preventing hundreds of thousands of unwanted litters, many of which would undoubtedly contribute to the street dog and cat populations and shelter intake numbers.

  • Round 1, completed in June of 2018, altered 5,295 pets.
  • Round 2, completed in November of 2018, altered 7,722 pets.
  • Round 3, completed in February of 2019, altered 8,428 pets.
  • Round 4, completed in May of 2019, altered 8,644 pets.
  • Round 5, completed in November of 2019, altered 7,194 pets.
  • Round 6, completed in February of 2020, altered 8,298 pets.
  • All mini field clinics and vouchers altered 10,713 pets.
Map depicting Spayathon locations in Puerto Rico as of round 6

From the outset, our goal was to build long-term sustainable programs on the island and, with the help of the ASPCA, train veterinarians and veterinary personnel. In August 2019, we also trained over 200 people on trap-neuter-return (TNR) to help provide care to the island’s community cats; over 500 humane traps were donated to the island to continue this important work. Funders and donors of Spayathon helped us secure critical equipment such as anesthesia machines and autoclaves necessary during the spay/neuter clinics with the intention they be left on the island allowing Puerto Rico to establish its own spay/neuter infrastructure for the first time.

In August 2020, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed into law a sweeping upgrade, allowing U.S.-licensed veterinarians to provide veterinary care in Puerto Rico, supporting local veterinarians in reaching animals in underserved communities.

The work to support pets and their families in Puerto Rico is not finished, but with the help of dozens of organizations and hundreds of volunteers, the animals of this resilient island now have a brighter future.

Spayathon is a lasting legacy of massively reducing dog and cat overpopulation, providing training and equipment to establish sustainable infrastructure, as well as a model for groups around the world to design their own programs.

Spayathon's lasting impact
Spayathon vets and techs working

With mini-clinics and vouchers. 

Cat in carrier at a Spayathon event

During first post-surgery year.

Spayathon vet and dog

Donated by surgeons, veterinary technicians and assistants.

Puerto Rico Spayathon 2019 partners

And our deepest appreciation to our in-kind supporters: Mars, Dechra PharmaceuticalsProject V.E.T.S. and Pet King Brands.