Spay, Neuter Clinic Underway in Vieux Fort

THIS week, residents of Vieux Fort can take advantage of the town’s first Spay and Neuter Clinic.

The clinic is an initiative by TOCO (They Often Cry Outreach), the charity created by philanthropist and reggae artist Taj Weekes, HelpAWS (Help Animal Welfare in Saint Lucia) together with the Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT) and their team of veterinarians.

The location of this event is downstairs from Lab Services next to Builders Choice in Beanfield, Vieux Fort.

This Spay and Neuter Clinic aims to treat stray animals but also assist residents who would not normally be able to afford the cost of the procedure for their pets.

The team hopes to treat up to 300 animals. Appointments can be made now via Tel 727-7310. Call as soon as possible as space will be limited. Walk-ins are also welcome but residents with appointments and stray animals will be given priority.

This Spay and Neuter clinic is the second such spay and neuter initiative in Saint Lucia. The first one took place in Soufriere and Gros Islet where over 350 animals were successfully spayed and neutered. TOCO and HelpAWS aim to continue these clinics in the future together with the CAAT and also the CSN (Caribbean Spay and Neuter) organizations.

The purpose of this initiative is to address the animal overpopulation issue in Saint Lucia. The end goal is to enable the local veterinarians to comfortably maintain sustainable levels of animals on the island without any external intervention. In order for this to be achievable, however, there must first be a drastic reduction in the number of animals capable of breeding.

The problem of over-population is caused by the fact that one dog or cat can have a litter of six to ten puppies or kittens twice a year. Within six to nine months all puppies/kittens from that litter will be capable of creating more offspring which results in an ever-increasing number of animals that often end up as strays and will ultimately suffer.

The over animal population problem is also a health concern as many unneutered animals are capable of contracting diseases that without treatment can be passed on to humans. And even tourism could be affected as visitors to Saint Lucia may take away a negative image of the island if they encounter many sick and suffering animals.

The Vieux Fort clinic started yesterday and runs until Thursday.

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