Residents cuddle with their kitty Carmen after she is returned from her spay surgery.

Residents cuddle with their kitty Carmen after she is returned from her spay surgery.

It’s been about a month since our Jones Park Vaccination Clinic, but East St. Louis and Washington Park residents are still receiving services for their pets. At the clinic, over 30 residents signed up for spay/neuter surgeries for their pets. Over the past few weeks, Spay/Neuter Coordinator Deanna Sanvi has transported 14 dogs and 2 cats to and from Carol House Quick Fix Pet Clinic for surgeries, all of which were pets that attended the clinic or referrals from the event.

In fact, the referrals we’ve been receiving have been one of the most important pieces to the puzzle. To prepare for the clinic, Gateway Pet Guardians volunteers distributed flyers in the area around Jones Park. While flyers are a great start at spreading the word about our services, word of mouth travels faster and further. Word of mouth ensures that the message gets to those especially in need of our services. Referrals from the residents themselves are evidence that we truly are building relationships in the community we serve.

Sanvi comments: “For this particular clinic, we focused on the area around Jones Park, which is north of I-64 and includes parts of Washington Park and East St. Louis. While most of the pets that came to the vaccination clinic were from this area, we are now getting calls from the larger area, as word of mouth travels farther than we can flyer. It’s not uncommon for me to get calls from residents that start off ‘You fixed my daughter’s dog last week and she gave me your number. I have a cat….’ or when I drop off a dog after it’s spay surgery the owner will say ‘My granny has a dog, can you call her and tell her what you do?’ We may only do 2 vaccine clinics a year, but word of mouth among residents definitely keeps me busy all year long.”

We still have about a dozen more animals on our list from the clinic to receive spay/neuter surgeries. Over the next several weeks, we will be switching to cold-weather mode in our outreach efforts, providing resources to outdoor community pets to ensure they stay warm this winter. But the Spay/Neuter Van will be trucking along all winter, transporting pets back and forth from the clinic to receive surgeries and vaccinations and helping us control the population of unwanted litters in the Metro East.

If you would like to help with our spay/neuter efforts and vaccination clinics, donate using the link below. To learn more about our community programs, click here.