Connecting with the local community, Diné College hosted a two-day, free spay-neuter clinic run by Souldog earlier this month. People from the community made appointments for their dogs and cats to undergo the procedure in an effort to reduce stray animals and increase their life quality. Each day, about 40 dogs and cats were brought in to be spayed and neutered and administered vaccines. Community members could also surrender unwanted animals, which were then taken to shelters in Colorado.
Diné College’s student organization, Animal Care, helped organize the event. Lesley Gravatt, president of Diné College Animal Care, Alexander Thompson, Angel Mark, and others, as well as faculty advisor Margaret Mayer, volunteered their time to aid and run the event. Students helped with bringing the animals in, prepping them for surgery, and then helping the animals after surgery. The event proved life-changing for some participants. Shelby White, high school student and daughter of Diné College instructor Sheila White, said she wants to go on to veterinary school.
Meyer hopes the college will host more spay/neuter clinics in the future with rescue groups such as Souldog to aid in the reduction of unwanted dogs and cats in the Navajo Nation. Spaying or neutering can also be healthy for an animal, reducing aggression and their likelihood of running from home. Vaccines are absolutely necessary for puppies and dogs to prevent life-threatening and excruciating viral diseases such as parvo and distemper, which are common in the Navajo Nation and elsewhere.