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Humane Society Adds General Vet Care to Free Programs

Chrissie’s Fund donations paying for procedures on large dogs

Qualifying families can get free spaying or neutering and rabies vaccines for their cats and dogs.
Qualifying families can get free spaying or neutering and rabies vaccines for their cats and dogs. (Courtesy photo)

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society is expanding its Big Fix program by providing free general medical care for sick or injured big dogs, in addition to free spaying or neutering, for pets in income-qualified families.

Generous support from Chrissie’s Fund has allowed the program expansion that now pays for general medical care of large dogs, typically dogs 45 lbs. and up, when providing that medical care would keep the pet in a home.

Animals in families without access to veterinary care are frequently relinquished to shelters when the family cannot afford an unexpected vet bill for a sick pet.

The Big Fix program already provides free spaying or neutering and rabies vaccinations to any dog or cat in a family receiving one of the following needs-based public assistance programs:

Medi-Cal/Medicaid, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), CalWORKs (TANF), BIA General Assistance, CalFresh (Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSD), Section 8 Housing, and Major VA Disability.

Appointments for free spay/neuter surgery through The Big Fix are required and can be made by calling 349-3435, ext. 2.

Surgery is performed Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Gary & Lyn Hock Spay & Neuter Clinic, 1687 W. Stowell Road, Santa Maria.

Free general medical care for big dogs through Chrissie’s Fund is provided during Wellness Clinic hours, 2-5 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, without any appointment.

The Big Fix and Chrissie’s Fund are made possible by two Santa Barbara County donors who recognize the importance of spaying or neutering pets and keeping pets healthy through regular veterinary care.

“Spaying or neutering pets not only prevents homeless puppies and kittens from being born but the surgery also eliminates certain cancers and infections,” said Sean Hawkins, executive director for Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

“Many pet owners want to do the right thing by spaying or neutering their pets but can't afford often expensive services at a private practice veterinarian," he said.

"Spaying or neutering these pets reduces pet overpopulation, ultimately saving more animal lives,” he said.

Proof of participation in one of the above listed needs-based public assistance programs is required for free services through The Big Fix or Chrissie’s Fund.

Pet owners whose pets already are vaccinated should bring proof of rabies vaccination with them to the clinic. Pets without proof of vaccination will be inoculated against rabies free of charge as part of the program.

Only animals being spayed or neutered can be vaccinated through this special program. Additional vaccinations, deworming, and identification with a microchip are available for a nominal cost.

For more information about the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, visit www.smvhs.org.

— Sean Hawkins for Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

 

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