Geared toward controlling animal population upon the Wind River Reservation, a free two-day spay and neuter clinic is opening this weekend.
Helping with low income families, the Wyoming Spay and Neuter Program will be offering free spay and neuter surgeries to Wind River Reservation residents who are animal owners. The first round of spay and neutering will begin Friday, May 6th and continue on Saturday, May 7th. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. on both days. An ongoing yearly project for the Reservation, this year’s first procedures will be performed at the Lutheran Church in Fort Washakie near the Hines General Store.
Dr. Heather Carleton of the Jackson Animal Hospital, owner of Mah Di, a three legged dog originally from Asia, knows the importance of animal spading and nurturing. Her program teamed up with Russ Savage of the I.H.S Environmental Health Program.
“On the Reservation, I love how I can help the bite incidents come down, as well as the stray dog population who at times make packs and can act feral, meaning not knowing the comfort of being a pet,” Dr. Carleton said. “On the reservation I get thanked over and over, and it makes me feel good to know my job is appreciated.”
Nationally, the population of animals in shelters have come down over the years from 20 million to now 4 million.
Dr. Carleton tells us her drive, what keeps her passion for animals alive.
"I love animals,” she said, “when you go into a shelter and experience how heartbreaking it is when there are not enough homes for all of them, that is what gives me the passion.”
“If you are wanting your cat or dog spay or neutered,” Dr. Carleton said, “don’t feed them the morning of surgery and please place cats in carriers when bringing them in.”
Dr. Carleton said, “animals will be ready to go home the same day by 6 p.m.”
Pets will be taken on a first come, first serve basis, with vaccines and Distemper/Parvo shots available for $5 each.
It is strongly encouraged that to have procedures done, and a tribal membership enrollment card be brought in in order to fulfill surgery requirements.
Another location on the WindRiver Reservation will be set by the Jackson Animal Hospital and posted when the time nears.