Changing Animal Welfare on the Reservation
As a volunteer, Rhianna played an important role in outreach during the clinic.
PWNA partners with animal welfare caregivers and groups throughout the Southwest and Northern Plains reservations, supporting them through our Reservation Animal Rescue (RAR) program.
PWNA made a $10,000 grant to Midwestern University for reservation-based spay/neuter clinics to be conducted via their mobile surgical unit. This grant is being used to bring mobile spay/neuter clinics to the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. Midwestern staff and students have been working alongside the Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) team that has assisted the tribe for many years.
During the 2017 spring clinic, PWNA met Rhianna, a young community member and volunteer from the San Carlos Reservation. She played an important role in outreach during the clinic; knowing many of her neighbors who were bringing their animals in for surgery, Rhianna was able to quickly put them at ease and complete the necessary intake. She was also instrumental in getting one community member to bring in several crates full of cats (some feral) and kittens in need of surgery.
As someone who actively volunteers and rescues strays in the community, it’s important to Rhianna to help spread the word about the benefits of animal spay/neuter. When asked about the importance of the spay/neuter clinics to the community and its residents, Rhianna said, “Because we’re struggling monetarily, there is no way we can get our dogs fixed. They [Midwestern] come out here and fix our dogs…they’re really a blessing to some families that love their pets but have no money to take them to a vet.”
Rhianna’s love of animals, “all started with my grandparents” they were really the ones that showed her empathy for the four-leggeds. Rhianna now has six animals, five of which are rescues. Rhianna’s grandmother heard about the Midwestern mobile clinic and told Rhianna to get her pets in. Knowing first-hand the importance and cost of spay and neuter. Rhianna said, “I trust them [Midwestern] with all my dogs.”
There is a lot of teamwork and commitment that goes into a spay/neuter clinic such as this. For this success, and the success that happens when the community members are involved in the clinics, the pet populations and all involved can celebrate their contribution to healthy pets!