For the past year and a half, Kindest Cut has been providing much needed spay/neuter surgeries to pets of people in need throughout Minnesota. Dr. Meghann Kruck and her team take great pride in being able to offer this service to pet owners who could not otherwise afford to pay for the surgery. They also know that other areas of the world are not as fortunate to have services like Kindest Cut, or to even have veterinary care at all.
Earlier this year Dr. Heather Douglas of GrenVet Island Veterinary Services in Grenada and Douglas Animal Hospital in Osseo, reached out to Kindest Cut and explained the plight animals face in Grenada because of the lack of resources and veterinary care. Currently there is only one veterinarian in Grenada on a permanent basis. Knowing how important spay/neuter is in controlling the pet population, the Kindest Cut staff teamed up with Dr. Douglas and GrenVet to organize the first of many veterinary mission trips to help the animals of Grenada.
The 10-day trip included four days of surgery on two Caribbean islands, Grenada and Carriacou, led by Kindest Cut Veterinarian Dr. Meghann Kruck and Technicians Alysha Coleman and Andrea Burgeson.
They began at the Belmont Estate, a 100-acre organic farm and Grenada’s largest producer of cocoa. The team set up a makeshift clinic in a covered outdoor space. Luckily they were already accustomed to doing surgery in small spaces on the Kindest Cut mobile unit, so they were able to make the space functional for surgery. During the three-day clinic at the Belmont Estate, the team provided care for 85 animals including 36 spay/neuter surgeries and much-needed vaccinations, deworming and flea treatments.
The second part of the trip was spent on the neighboring island of Carriacou, a two-hour ferry ride from Grenada. Here they participated in another spay/neuter clinic, teaming up with a local animal welfare organization called WE CARE. They set up for surgery in a covered tennis court in the city center, and special effort went into making sure they had enough electricity which can often be a tricky feat in Grenada. During the one-day clinic in Carriacou they provided vaccinations, flea and deworming treatments and spay/neuter surgeries for an additional 14 dogs and cats.
There is only one veterinarian on the island of Grenada so veterinary care is scarce and often too expensive for residents to afford. Pet owners were not required to pay anything for the Kindest Cut services, but donations were accepted. According to Dr. Kruck, “many people on the island who have very little money were making donations for the care of future patients – it was absolutely inspiring.”
The response to Kindest Cut’s visit was overwhelming — they saw a total of 99 patients and performed 50 spay/neuter surgeries. They performed check-ups on several species including sheep, a ram, two cows, four monkeys, and two parrots and provided a number of additional surgical services including mass removals and a knee surgery.
Despite Kindest Cut’s efforts to fit in as many animals as possible, there are many more pets in need of spay/neuter surgeries. Fortunately several pet owners were able to book appointments for GrenVet’s next spay/neuter clinic in February, at which two more Kindest Cut staff members will be volunteering. The team hopes to continue to make quarterly trips back to the island to help.
“This experience reminded us of how truly blessed we and our animals in the US are,” says Dr. Kruck. “The animals in poor shape we’ve seen here in Minnesota don’t even compare to the average dog or cat in Grenada. It truly is a different world. With the help of GrenVet our hope is that we can improve the lives of the animals on the island.”
Kindest Cut, in partnership with Animal Humane Society, offers high quality, low cost spay/neuter services to pet owners with limited incomes. To find out whether or not you qualify for the low cost spay/neuter services provided by Kindest Cut, and to make an appointment, visit www.kindestcutmn.com or call (763) 489-SPAY.