CAT is tremendously proud of staff member Meg McLinden, CVT. In February, she spent a week in San Juan helping hundreds of needy animals as part of the Spayathon™ for Puerto Rico.
Following the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria, the Spayathon for Puerto Rico was established to provide support to the families and animals on the islands. Beginning in June 2018, this coalition of 28 organizations–led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)–joined forces to host multiple large-scale spay/neuter clinics. Over several rounds of clinics, the Spayathon seeks to assist at least 85,000 dogs and cats across the island.
To be a part of this incredible effort, Meg applied for and earned a spot in Maddie’s Spayathon 4PR HQHVSN Apprenticeship Program. As a participant, she received a Maddie’s Fund® grant to support her training and travel to San Juan. Both before and after the Spayathon clinic, Meg completed online training sessions, reading and video-viewing assignments, and online quizzes.
Upon learning she had been selected, Meg shared: “I know this experience will be very difficult, but I think it will be worth it.”
In her first visit to the Caribbean, Meg joined the sixth round of veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians (CVTs) to operate a spay/neuter clinic for cats and dogs in need. Six of the 11 days in Puerto Rico were dedicated to running the clinic. The other five days included orientation, set up, and teardown. During the clinic days, Meg filled various roles, doing everything from helping with post-surgery feline recovery to providing discharge instructions for families who brought their pets in for surgery.
“I was controlling the surgery tables today,” Meg shared on her fourth day at the clinic. “I was changing anesthesia tubes between each patient and scrubbing them in for surgery. A total of 223 animals passed by me today, bringing the grand total to 758.”
Overall, the February 2020 Spayathon clinic treated 1,162 cats and dogs. This lifesaving work reduces the homeless pet population and improves overall animal health in the area. With fewer intact dogs and cats roaming the streets, the island will see a decrease in the number of stray animals requiring shelter, food, and medical resources.
“I am so very proud to be a part of this movement and to have been to help in any way I could,” Meg says, reflecting on the experience. “I can’t believe how many animals we were able to help!”