2024 World Spay Day Clinics Needed Now More Than Ever

May, 7, 2024

By Heather Schrader, RVT, MCJ

Program Manager, Student Outreach

With shelters and rescues at capacity across the country and beyond, spay and neuter services are in high demand.  In order to prevent unwanted litters and curb euthanasia, pet parents are in dire need of services.  HSVMA provided grants in the amounts of $1000 - $2000 to six clinics this year.  In addition to providing much needed surgeries, these clinics recognize Spay/Neuter Awareness Month (February) and World Spay Day (February 27) and provide veterinary student volunteers with hands-on experience that will benefit them as they become professionals.  2024 marks the 14th year that HSVMA has provided these grants, and over 220 animals were spayed or neutered with our support this year

Cornell University 

The Cornell VetCARES Community Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic holds free spay/neuter clinics for community cats in Ithaca and the surrounding region.  HSVMA supported their February clinic in recognition of World Spay Day and Spay/Neuter Awareness Month.  This clinic was organized and run by 40 student volunteers and supervised by college faculty.  The team was able to spay/neuter 50 cats!  You can see their team in action in this video provided by the vet school.  Maryna Lytvynova Mullerman, a class of 2025 veterinary student, said this about her experience, "Overall, Cornell Spay Day served as a cornerstone in my veterinary education, instilling in me a sense of responsibility and dedication to serving both animal and human communities alike."

Louisiana State University

HSVMA’s grant for Louisiana State SVM helped support veterinary students who were on their shelter medicine rotation.  The school's mobile unit traveled to the Louisiana State Penitentiary to provide medical care for community cats who live on the property.  The LSU SVM has an ongoing TNR program at the prison, the largest maximum-security prison in the United State spanning 28 square miles.  Four veterinary students and one shelter intern provided services for 20 cats on site.  Many of these cats are taken care of and loved by the individuals incarcerated at the prison.  "Participating in the TNR at Angola was a wholehearted experience, where each cat entrusted to us became a symbol of hope and compassion. Throughout the day, it was obvious the employees and inmates have compassion for the cats and want the very best for them all. We guaranteed their health by conducting thorough physical examinations, administering rabies vaccines and a month's worth of prevention along with their spays and neuters," stated LSU SVM veterinary student, Marissa Orlando.  

Ohio State University

Twelve students attending Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine volunteered with Rascal Charities, Inc. to spay or neuter 74 cats and 24 dogs!  Veterinary services were provided to families needing financial assistance, low-income seniors and community cat caretakers.  You can see more details and pictures on this Facebook post.  Dr. Michelle Gonzalez, Director of Rascal Charities, Inc., said this of the event on February 27: "Today we provided a needed service to individuals who may not have been able to help their pets otherwise, and we offered these veterinary students an opportunity to give to the community and understand the importance of our field for both animal and human wellbeing."

St. George's University

Eleven students from the St. George's School of Veterinary Medicine Shelter Medicine Selective recognized World Spay Day in collaboration with the Grenada SPCA.  Over the course of seven surgery days, these third-year veterinary students performed 24 sterilization surgeries for cats and dogs on the island of Grenada and prevented the spread of zoonotic and vector borne diseases by providing free Rabies vaccinations, Heartworm/flea/tick preventatives, and intestinal dewormers to all surgery patients. Transportation was also available for island residents who needed help getting their pet to and from the shelter.  The clinics provided high-quality, high-volume anesthesia and surgical training for the students and inspiration to pursue careers that focus on animal sheltering and access to care. 


University of Calgary

Sixteen University of Calgary vet students participated in a clinic hosted by the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS).  The more advanced third-year students helped guide the first and second-years during the event which was appreciated as some of the students were not experienced working in a high-quality, high-volume clinic setting.  One of the students who participated stated that "this was great hand-on learning" and another said "the set up of having third years guiding first and second-years was really comforting."  Thirty surgeries were performed in collaboration with AARCS, an organization which strives to provide community support programs in Alberta, Canada.  

Western University

The veterinary students at Western University schedule clinics providing free basic veterinary care in collaboration with The Street Dog Coalition, an organization founded in Colorado by HSVMA's CO State Representative, Dr. Jon Geller.  These clinics serve community members experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness in the Pomona area.  Any client who requests spay or neuter surgery for their pet is scheduled to have the procedure performed at the pet health center on campus pending clinic and client availability.  Veterinary students rotating through the center assist with these surgeries.  You can see HSVMA's Western Student Chapter President, Roberta Bailey, interviewed at their April clinic on Instagram.