Dr. Christine Asaro, DVM, the Medical Director for the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons in Wainscott, returned in early February from a medical mission to provide volunteer spay and neuter services in Puerto Rico.
Working with the non-profit organization ViDAS, Dr. Asaro donated her time to their current mission, The Spayathon for Puerto Rico. Participating in one of the organizations four clinics to be held on the island, the six-day trip from February 3 to 9, aided in 3,406 animals being safely spayed/neutered and vaccinated, according to a press release issued by ARF late last week.
ARF has had a commitment to helping homeless animals on Puerto Rico for over a decade. Shortly after Hurricane Maria in 2017, ARF teammebers headed to Puerto Rico for two rescue missions which brought more than 200 animals to safety on Long Island to the Adoption Center in Wainscott. According to ARF officials, since the devastation, pet overpopulation has become an increasing problem in Puerto Rico and not only is there a need for sterilization, there are growing concerns for the public’s assistance as more cats and dogs contract rabies on the island. Dr. Asaro knew she could do more to help and applied to ViDAS.
Established in 2002, ViDAS (Veterinarios Internacionales Dedicados a Animales Sanos – International Veterinarians Dedicated to Animal Health) helps assemble teams of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and volunteers to travel internationally to areas of need providing free spay and neuter services for dogs and cats, to combat pet overpopulation, while working with the local community to provide education to people and aid to local veterinary groups to spark positive and sustainable change. Dr. Asaro said The Spayathon “experience was truly rewarding.”