Unit Puppy 1This month has been big for the Gateway Pet Guardians Community Outreach Program. Our friends at Complete Truck & RV Repair donated a large conversion van to be used for our spay/neuter efforts, and we named the vehicle “Unit Puppy 1.”

Thursday, July 7 was Unit Puppy 1’s maiden voyage. Volunteers were up at the crack of dawn, armed with Starbucks and eager to make their rounds. They stopped at the houses of four families with appointments to spay and neuter their animals.

First we picked up Prince, an adorable little kitten that made the volunteers work by hiding under the TV. Then Baby, a four-year old cat who had mothered seven litters of kittens in her lifetime. And finally Chico, who was a little chihuahua mix, and Destiny, a young black and white dog. All nestled into their crates in the back of the van and headed off for their surgeries in style.

ChicoGateway Pet Guardians partners with Carol House Quick Fix Pet Clinic, who performs the surgeries and gives the animals vaccines; and BARC, who subsidizes the surgeries. Animals are picked up and returned to their owners in one day. After their surgeries, they were loaded back up in the van and delivered to their loving families, who received post-op instructions.

Unit Puppy 1 is such a huge asset to GPG because of its ability to transport many animals at once. Deanna Sanvi, the Spay/Neuter Coordinator, explains: “The van has made us more efficient. We did 4 pets on one day, when a few days before we could do 1-2 pets at a time. We could conceivably do 10 pets a day as we get more comfortable. The goal is to make better use of time and other resources while fixing as many or more pets each month.”

There have also been some unintended, although very welcome, outcomes with the van. “We look more professional. It’s a great marketing tool in the community. Several people stopped to talk to us, asking about our services. We learned quickly to stock the van with business cards and brochures!”

We already have our next voyage planned, and have many more in the works. So stay tuned!

Unit Puppy 1