Reporting in after our 7th and final day of surgery. Over 600 pets and their owners were in line early this morning. We were so excited to able to perform 165 surgeries safely today. Our final count for the week: 1137 spays and neuters performed and vaccinations updated!!
On this campaign, we had 5 high quality, high volume spay neuter (HQHVSN) surgeons rotating through the surgery area, with four surgeons doing surgeries at a time. Each surgeon performed between 30-50 surgeries per day! We had no deaths and less than 10 complications for the entire campaign.
Our surgery days started at 7am and we finished the last surgery usually by 2pm. Four other veterinarians worked in the 3 recovery areas to make sure that patients recovered safely and were able to go home with their owners. All of the surgeons had 1-2 support technicians to scrub patients, monitor anesthesia, then help with transport to recovery after surgery, allowing the surgeons to concentrate on surgery. Many of our Puerto Rico ground teams were from local vet tech schools and excited about practicing their new skills.
This is such a meaningful experience for me and the rest of the team. I get tears in my eyes everytime I see the incredible love shared by a pet and their human as I walk through the crowds. To be able to strengthen that bond and provide basic care to the Puerto Rican communities is an honor and a privilege. The Aguas Buenas community was so grateful for our help that they held and awards ceremony and small dinner for the Spayathon team. That is the mayor and first lady of Aguas Buenas with the Emancipet team. We got spay/neuter medals!!
Now it’s time to break down our equipment, count our inventory and pack it all back up for the next campaign in February. The Puerto Rican government will come pick up our pallets from the gymnasium tomorrow and store them in temperature controlled warehouses. Humane Society of the US (HSUS) has provided the money to buy all the equipment for the 8 teams across the island. Each of these teams moves to another area of Puerto Rico each campaign so that as many people and pets as possible can be helped on the island.
After the four campaigns are done, all the equipment and supplies will be donated to PR veterinarians so that they can continue to hold periodical HQHVSN campaigns. HSUS has also provided extensive HQHVSN training for many vets in Puerto Rico so that they can continue the safe, high volume surgeries.
A huge thank you to Dr. Helmueller of THRIVE Affordable Vet Care for representing us in such an amazing and fulfilling event helping our friends and their pets in Puerto Rico get the quality veterinary care they need.