Saving Lives Through Spay and Neuter: CAWL’s Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic at the Ute Indian Reservation
With the local shelter’s euthanasia rate higher than any other shelter in Colorado (77% of cats and 39% of dogs) Colorado Animal Welfare League’s (CAWL), Shelby Davis, identified an opportunity to assist. She packed up CAWL’s new mobile spay/neuter trailer along with a team of six other volunteers and headed down to the Ute Indian Reservation near Cortez in extreme Southwest Colorado.
This was CAWL’s second Free Spay/Neuter and Vaccination Clinic in Towaoc, Colorado. The first taking place in June of this year and the second clinic happening over a long weekend in late September.
According to Davis, “The people in the area are receptive to and want spay/neuter, it’s just not affordable for the masses there”. Along with a number of animals already at the shelter, the team solicited patients in the community by passing out flyers. Davis told us that the tribe at the Ute reservation was a great help allowing the use of their shelter for the clinics, passing out flyers, and offering assistance from the shelter staff by having them open early and stay late during the clinic.
This particular clinic was staffed by the following volunteers:
- One veterinarian (Humane Society of Boulder Valley)
- Three technicians (Humane Society of Boulder Valley)
- One clinic organizer/logistics person (CAWL)
- One volunteer animal handler/vaccination specialist (ASPCA)
- Three do-everything volunteers (Boulder/Denver area)
- Numerous recovery volunteers (For Pet’s Sake Humane Society – Cortez, CO)
The volunteer team was able to spay and/or neuter 92 animals in a two day period with all services free of charge. 63 dogs and 29 cats were sterilized. Many families were turned away and await anxiously for the next clinic scheduled for the weekend of October 30-31.
The total cost of this second clinic was $1900 which was covered by donations from Colorado Animal Rescue Express (CARE) and two private donations from CAWL board members. The expenses associated with the mobile clinic include supplies for the surgeries, vaccinations, and travel expenses for the team and the trailer.
Davis is confident that the team’s efforts are making a difference. She comments, “Towaoc, the main town on the Ute Indian Reservation, has a human population that is not very large, and the area is one where the effects of our program are measurable on the impact of pet population over time”.
CAWL will be returning the Ute Reservation for more free spay/neuter clinics. Check the News and Events section of the website and the Event Calender for the next scheduled clinic.
Donations to CAWL to assist with the costs of the program can be made on this website.