NEGRIL, Westmoreland — Over 250 cats and dogs in and around the Negril community were spayed, neutered and treated during a three -day veterinary clinic conducted by volunteers from the International Spay Neuter Network (ISNN).
The clinic was held from July 14-16 at the Negril All Age School, in Westmoreland.
The clinic saw the US -based charity organisation collaborating with the Sandals Foundation, as well as the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Veterinary Medical Association and local volunteers in its continued efforts to control the population of stray dogs and cats on the streets.
"Over breeding of cats and dogs is a serious problem in Jamaica, especially in low-income areas," opined Dr Lesley Robson, veterinarian and ISNN representative. She continued that "many of these stray animals that wander the streets, beaches and communities are posing serious health and safety risks to people." "This make them prone to cruel treatment and possible death at the hands of humans, therefore spaying and neutering becomes the more humane way to reduce the population and prevent the suffering of these animals," she argued.
With the assistance of the Sandals Foundation, the team of some 18 volunteers have also performed surgeries on over 250 animals in Eltham, St Ann since the start of this year.
Under the initiative, more than 1,000 animals from the Negril region have been treated over the past two years.
In addition to performing surgeries, the vets and technicians shared with community members the importance of removing the animal's reproductive organs to prevent more strays and in essence promote better treatment of these creatures.