The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Spay Waggin’ came to Fall River today to spay/neuter nearly two dozen animals as part of an ongoing collaborative effort with ARL, the Massachusetts Animal Fund, and Fall River Animal Control.
For four years, ARL has hosted the clinic in collaboration with MAF and Fall River Animal Control. The surgeries are under the MAF voucher program, which distributes vouchers to qualifying low-income pet owners to cover the cost of the procedure.
Due to high demand and Covid-19-restrictions, many clients have been on a waiting list for a number of months to have their pets spayed or neutered, and ARL is once again providing this vital service that’s greatly needed in the Fall River Community.
“Fall River is already a struggling community, but since the pandemic, it seems as if getting spay/neuter services has proven to be even more difficult,” said Cynthia Berard-Cadima, Fall River Animal Control Officer. “People contact us daily, asking for funds. Many are out of work and our homeless community is growing. We are stretching every dime and our veterinarians are donating time and services more than ever.”
Clients began arriving at the Fall River Fire Museum on North Main Street with their animals around 8:30 a.m. and will be picking up their animals in the afternoon following surgery and recovery time.
Clinics like this that provide subsidized spay and neuter services are at the core of MAF, which is primarily funded by the voluntary tax check off (Line 33f) on the Massachusetts resident income tax form. The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently approved a budget amendment to provide MAF with $75,000 in funding, which will soon be debated in the Senate. Since 2014, the MAF voucher program has helped provide spay and neuter services for more than 16,000 animals, and without this allocated funding, the need will remain great, but MAF will not be able to assist as many pet owners in need.