Soufriere, St. Lucia- Over the next two weeks, TOCOPAWS, a collaboration between TOCO (They Often Cry Outreach), and HelpAWS (Help Animal Welfare in Saint Lucia), with the assistance of the World Vets (A US based veterinary team) and the Ministry of Agriculture, will be putting on a FREE spay and neuter clinic in the towns of Gros Islet and Soufriere. This initiative is geared at addressing the animal overpopulation issue in these two communities.
The first clinic will be held on Saturday, October 28th and Sunday, October 29th, at the Old Gros Islet Police Station from 8am to 3pm. While the second, scheduled for Soufriere, will be held on Tuesday October 31st and Wednesday, November 1st at the Still Plantation from 8am to 3pm.
Medical studies show that a dog and a cat can each have 6-10 young ones twice per year, and these young ones within six months can have a litter of their own. At this phenomenal reproduction rate it is no surprise that the result is far too many animals being born and left to scavenge, and others to die on the streets from lack of care, disease, accidents and cruelty.
Unfortunately, the surviving population of strays is exposed to abandonment and cruelty. They also create a number of problems, to include, waste management control, disease transmission and a reduction in the aesthetic appeal of our communities and consequent negative impact on the tourism image of our towns.
However, studies have shown that the stray animal population can be controlled and its attendant problems reduced by spaying and neutering these pets and stray animals. Most importantly, this intervention allows the pets to live longer, reduce their chances of transmitting diseases and enable them to grow larger.
Cognizant of these findings TOCOPAWS and World Vets have organized these two clinics to treat pets and strays for persons who would otherwise not bother because of the cost, lack the means of transporting them or the time. The clinics are totally FREE and do not require users making an appointment; however, the earlier pet owners arrive the faster their pets will be seen.
Clinic organizers would like to thank the Royal St. Lucia Resort, Anse Chastanet Resort, HTS, Soufriere Foundation, 88.5 Soufriere FM and Rising Stars Youth and Sports Club for their assistance with accommodation, advertising, etcetera.