Spayathon for Puerto Rico

More than 25 organizations have come together to serve tens of thousands of animals and provide training and infrastructure for permanent, lasting change.

Puerto Rico is facing a growing animal welfare crisis: Many individuals vacating the island after Hurricane Maria have had to leave their pets behind, adding to the population of unowned animals currently estimated at more than 300,000 dogs and one million cats. Zoonotic diseases like leptospirosis are spreading, posing a threat to both animal and human populations and veterinary resources on the island are already stretched beyond capacity, particularly given the extreme levels of poverty across the island.

We responded to this crisis by establishing Spayathon for Puerto Rico, a coalition of 26 national and international groups coming together for the first time to spay, neuter and vaccinate at least 20,000 dogs and cats across the island. Spayathon is founded on a historic agreement signed by the Humane Society of the United States with the Puerto Rico government, Veterinary Association and Veterinary Board, allowing teams of high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter veterinarians to practice on the island for the first time ever.

Governor Ricardo Rossello and HSUS staff at Spayathon for PR
Governor Ricardo Rossello and his wife Beatriz Russell at their arrival to the Spayathon Ponce facility.
Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo
AP Images for The HSUS
Woman and her cat at Spayathon for PR
Eddy Mendez and Lola at registration for the Spayathon event.
Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo
AP Images for The HSUS

Spayathon will have 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 one, completed in June of 2018, altered more than 5,600 pets. Round two, completed in November of 2018, altered 8,087 pets. Since the launch of Spayathon, and in conjunction with other HSUS-sponsored spay/neuter clinics, 15,561 pets have been altered and vaccinated across the island at no cost to their owners. Moreover, each of those animals was vaccinated against diseases that could pose a pressing danger to the human population, like rabies and leptospirosis. Longer term, Spayathon will provide specialized high quality, high volume, spay/neuter training for approximately 100 veterinarians and technicians across the island.

All of the surgical equipment and supplies purchased in connection with Spayathon will be donated to trained veterinarians, allowing Puerto Rico to establish its own spay/neuter infrastructure for the first time. What’s more, data collected from the pet owners served during Spayathon will contribute to the knowledge base of academicians and advocates worldwide.

Donate to help support our work in Puerto Rico.

The goal of Spayathon is to spay/neuter and provide medical care for tens of thousands of dogs and cats. Your donation will fund direct care for animals, equipment, supplies and training for current and future generations to ensure a brighter future for Puerto Rico’s animals.

Dog at spayathon PR with HSUS staff and First Lady Beatriz Rossello
Spayathon partner logos