BP Free Pet Clinic

Residents urged to tap into free clinic before funds are depleted

Image Courtesy: mspca

Image Courtesy: mspca

Staff Reports

Baldwin Park – Commuters and passersby may have recognized a pattern of puppies, kittens, dogs and cats pouncing on the perimeter of Morgan Park in recent weeks. That’s because local residents are taking advantage of an opportunity to care for their pet’s needs through a mobile clinic frequenting the City.

The clinic, housed within a large blue bus emblazoned with pet images, is the Lucy Pet Foundation’s traveling service venue. Organization officials are providing as many as 300 spay/neuter operations, as well as additional vaccines, to some of Baldwin Park’s resident pets throughout this month. And all major services are free of charge.

But grant money for the services runs out next week, so residents are urged to book an appointment for Fluffy or Fido as soon as possible.

“We’re starting the process to adopt the dog and get some things for him taken care of, so this came at a perfect time,” said Raymond Guzman of Baldwin Park. The 17-year old stood in line at Morgan Park on an early Monday morning to get his dog, Astro, neutered.

Guzman said he had recently investigated some regional programs to get his Maltese/Terrier puppy fixed at a reduced rate. Tapping in to the free neutering services now was going to save him as much as $300, he said. The aspiring veterinarian plans to follow up with the necessary vaccinations before getting Astro officially licensed soon.

Lucy Pet Foundation’s mobile clinics are still available June 22 and 23, strictly for Baldwin Park residents.  Veterinarian Karen Halligan said her group can still accommodate more than 100 surgeries for local canines and felines before grant money – given by the Coalition for Pets and ASPCA – expires this month and the mobile unit leaves town.

Manny Carrillo, Director of Recreation and Community Services, said the Lucy Pet Foundation has frequented Baldwin Park in the past. This year’s clinics featured more availability dates and a higher turnout than before.

“This is a win-win situation because it helps residents during this economic downturn,” said Carrillo. “Most people love their pets and they want to take care of them. This is a great opportunity for them to do that, not just for a quick fix, but for the rest of their lives.”

While the reasons behind getting pets spayed or neutered are often argued, Halligan added that the Lucy Pet Foundation, based out of Thousand Oaks, works to reduce the pet population via mobile clinics and supports causes that benefit animal welfare. She said pets may live 30 to 40 percent longer if they have undergone the spay/neuter procedure.

“This is what you do to help take care of your pet,” the veterinarian added. “You’re taking care of their health and adding more years to their life. Pregnancies can be expensive, and every year, about 80,000 pets are getting euthanized.”

Lucy Pet Foundation’s free spay and neutering services include the operation, a physical exam, a rabies shot, and follow-up medical supplies for dogs and cats. Additional services such as microchip implanting and supplemental vaccinations are also available for about $15 to $30, depending on the request.

To take advantage of the mobile pet clinic, residents must call (855) 499-5829 or e-mail booking@fixnow.org to schedule an appointment. Proof of Baldwin Park residency is required.