Dr. Benson AND her assistant Eugenio Crespo
Early Saturday morning of September 17th, a team of ARF volunteers busily set up tables and chairs underneath the palm fronds and the Flamboyan trees in the Public Beach of Rincon, Puerto Rico. Finally, everything was ready for the ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) of Rincon-sponsored Cat Health Day.
Gladys Quinones and Leo Roubian at the spay/neuter table
At this yearly one day-special event, many cat owners gladly awaited their turn to have their cats vaccinated and/or scheduled for spay/neuter appointments all at low-cost. Participating at this year’s event was the veterinarian Dr. Elena Benson from the office Consultorio Veterinario in Aguadilla, and assisting her was Eugenio Crespo, the manager from the Animal Shelter Villa Michelle in Mayaguez. Although this event takes place outdoors, extra care is taken to provide for the cats’ safety by vaccinating indoors. Also to promote good nutrition Angelica Gaetan persuaded Royal Canin to make a generous donation of canned and dry quality cat food.
Royal Canin table with ambassador Angelica Gaetan
ARF, as a community-based animal welfare and rescue non-profit organization in the community of Rincon, is committed to promoting animal welfare and reducing animal overpopulation. This is a small organization with a smaller budget run by 2 part time employees, 4 board members and dedicated volunteers. Among its vital programs, it runs an affordable year-round spay/neuter program. To encourage even more participation in the sterilization program, ARF sponsors three Health Days a year: two for dogs and one for cats. These health days are important. By reducing animal overpopulation, it in turn reduces abandonment and neglect.
Mayor Carlos Lopez with Sheree supporting Cat Day
ARF is happy to announce that at the end of the Cat Health Day event, 44 cats were immunized while ARF volunteers scheduled 45 spay/neuter appointments! At this event, pet owners only paid $15 for a spay/neuter appointment while ARF will pay the remainder of the cost from internal funds and with the help of the PetSmart® grant. In total, 67 felines were serviced and each participant received the free Royal Canin cat food. Even the mayor of Rincon, Carlos Lopez Bonilla, dropped by with words of encouragement. This event was an all around success!
Volunteers for ARF!
These numbers may not seem impressive by stateside standards but they are in Puerto Rico. ARF is very pleased to be able to make an impact in this small community challenged by poverty and unemployment. It’s a sure sign that the community has heard the message: working together WE can save lives.
I love my cat!