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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

World Spay Day saves furry friends from disease and death

April 16, 2019

SJVC Bakersfield Veterinary students participate World Spay DayMost pet owners do not realize that having their dog or cat spayed or neutered not only reduces massive pet overpopulation, but it protects their fur babies from many health hazards. Spaying helps prevent Pyometra (uterine infections) and mammary cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats.

The Humane Society of the U.S. launched World Spay Day in 1995 in an effort to increase awareness of the need for those medical procedures that prolong and save pet lives. Spaying/neutering refers to the surgical removal of the reproductive organ of an animal. It is a safe procedure which has become common in veterinary practices over the past 30 years.

Animal overpopulation is a world-wide concern. Failure to spay just one dog can lead to 28,244 puppies in nine years. One non-spayed cat can lead to 14 million kittens.

Recently, nearly 20 SJVC Bakersfield students and faculty joined that worldwide effort for the first time this February at an event held at the Kern County Animal Services facility. That day, volunteers from the community supported an effort that spayed and neutered 93 cats and issued 223 low-income spay/neuter vouchers for future use at any participating veterinary facility.

SJVC students were able to put their newly acquired knowledge and skills to work. They stayed busy, whether directing attendees to areas for pet care education, treatment information and animal medical procedures, to assisting medical professionals in preparation of surgeries and observing surgical procedures. Their six-hour participation flew by.

“The most enjoyable moment of my involvement in the World Spay Day was the hands-on experience we received and the staffs’ willingness to include us in their routine,” says Shannon Flores, who completes her Veterinary Technology program in May. “Hands-on experience will help me be a better and more knowledgeable veterinary technician.”

These all-day clinics are geared for people who often lack access to, or who can’t afford, dog and cat health care services. But equally important is the effort to curb animal over population through interrupting animal reproduction.

World Spay Day in Bakersfield drew many animal care enthusiasts and service providers. “Our friends The Cat People, City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center and Kern Humane Society Thrift Store were also there offering spay-neuter vouchers,” says Vanessa Lopez, Veterinary Assistant instructor at SJVC Bakersfield.

Vanessa’s job that day was to induce the patients and get them intubated for surgery. “The best part of the day was for our students to experience something like this,” she says. “They got to be part of a continued effort in the community and got to see how working as a team is necessary in this field.”

SJVC students had already been in surgery classes and were familiar with the procedures. “The most enjoyable moment was actually getting to watch the spay,” says Elizabeth Cortinas, Veterinary Assistant program student. “Assisting in the prepping of the animal gave me the hands-on experience that I needed. I learned that it is a fast-paced environment and things have an order for things to work out in a timely manner.”

Spaying and neutering pets will protect their health and longevity. It will also address overpopulation and decrease the number of homeless and euthanized animals in communities.

Spay Day makes a real difference in every community that participates.

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