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Pet Health Care Articles

The 2012 CT Big Fix, sponsored by CVMA
an article seen in the Reminder Press

March 30, 2012


Dr. Gayle Block and 'Colby' greet participants in the 'Big Fix' at Town and Country Veterinary Hospital. Photo by Steve Smith.Fifty veterinary hospitals donated their services to take part in the “Big Fix” effort from Feb. 20 to 24, and approximately 350 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered at a reduced rate for their owners. Dr. Gayle Block of the Town and Country Veterinary Hospital of Vernon, who is also the president of the Connecticut Veterinarian Medical Association, started the event, based on a program she started locally, and because of the need to control the pet population. According to Block, more than 4,000 pets had to be euthanized in the state last year.

“I think it will make a difference, statistically, in the pet population,” Block said. “Not only does it prevent them from having, or fathering, puppies and kittens, but it also prevents some diseases. It really is the healthy decision for your pets.”

Behavior issues and prostate issues in male dogs, and uterine infections and uterine, ovarian and mammary cancers in female dogs are among the conditions that spaying or neutering may help prevent or treat, according to Block.

Block had vaccines, gauze, anesthesia and other items donated by suppliers, and sent as “care packages” to the clinics, to help ease their burden. Low-income families must qualify through state-assisted documentation, but will then receive the procedures for their pets, which typically cost hundreds of dollars, for $20.12.

“It's gone very well, with just a few minor glitches,” Block said. “People have been thrilled.”

Block said the hope is to boost the number of participating hospitals next year, and treat 1,000 pets during the week. Surveys will also be sent to the participating veterinarians, to see what other improvements should be taken next year.

The Animal Control Program, already in place, provides for the procedures for shelter-adopted pets, and also provides some funding to low-income families. Vouchers through that program, as well as through other government programs, enabled area residents to take part in the Big Fix.

About 10 procedures were performed at the Vernon clinic, but Block said several of the larger animal hospitals performed upwards of 20. Block said that next year she hopes to have an online registration system, which will make it easier to take part.

By Steve Smith - Reminder staff writer